Tips For Picky Little Eaters

17 Feb 2020 no comments Morwenna Voss Categories Blog

Who is the Parent, and who is the Child?  YOU are the Parent, YOU are in charge.  

 1.Begin with this mantra.  Studies have shown again and again that children mimic the eating habits of their parents.  They will eat what you eat. You buy the groceries. Fill your home with foods they can and should eat.  If they know you can and might give them chicken nuggets why would they want to try the Asparagus on their plates?  Eat well yourself, they will naturally follow your lead if you stick to your guns. They will push your boundaries, be consistent and steadfast.

 2. Begin Early.  A child who is under the age of 2 is more likely to try new foods and reject them less.  To ensure a positive introduction, add fresh fruits and veggies that are ripe and naturally tasty.  The earlier you introduce a food and the more consistent you are in serving it the child will be more likely to accept it and continue to eat it throughout their lifetime. 

 3. Be Adventurous! Make the exposure to a new cuisine a vibrant fun-filled experience and that memory will remain with them for a lifetime. Go on a dinner safari. Pull out a world map and ask your child to point to a country they have learned about in school or simply wants to know about then plan a monthly visit to an Italian, French or Japanese restaurant.

4. Put their minds, bodies, and palates to work!  Children who regularly help with meal preparation are far more likely to prefer healthier foods.  Bring them to the supermarket, let them help you plan and shop, challenge them to find the perfectly ripened fruits and the greenest greens.  Buy safer kitchen prep tools, downsize, buy child sized whisks and bowls that they can use when helping out. Aprons and chef outfits make it game-time.  When your children help you to create their meals, they own the meals and chances are they’ll be more likely to eat it.

 5. The learned must first be taught. Knowing that your children need a balanced diet of protein, carbs, fats and essential nutrients is invaluable.  Teaching these tidbits to your kids could be the difference between their successes and failures in lifetime nutrition. Be informative to your children that carbohydrates give them energy, proteins help them to grow strong muscles,  good fats will boost brain power and help them to expel bad fats. Fruits and Veggies are nutrient packed and will give them essential vitamins and boosters that will prevent disease and illness now and later.

 6. Respecting likes and dislikes.   There is a fine line between respecting their preferences and changing an entire meal to please them.  To prevent potentially explosive chaos in the kitchen at mealtime always make sure to provide healthy substitutions and options they do like.  Giving them a choice empowers them and allows them to believe they are in control. Narrow it to two options and make sure they pick one. Respect their preferences, but don’t forget, You are the parent.

7. Life is chaotic, and one can never plan for everything.  It can often be difficult to resist falling back on go-to meal choices when we are making or eating dinner on the run.  Re-think your default “kid food”. Have on hand recipes that are easy, fast, delicious, but still nutritious. Be sure to keep at least five of these meals in your kitchen’s arsenal for those crazy weeknights that you just don’t have time to make full dinners for. If you know tomorrow is going to be crazy, make meals the night before that can be warmed up in minutes and ready for eating.