Monday, October 15, 2012

10 Tips to Get Your Picky Eater, EATING!

As a fellow picky eater, I know first hand the frustrations that come along with trying to get your kids to try new foods. I'm pretty sure I drove my mom crazy with the fact that I really only wanted to eat macaroni and cheese or chicken nuggets for the majority of my childhood. So when I discovered some of these tricks to getting your kids to eat healthier, I knew I had to share. Partly because I'm pretty sure these tips would still work on me and because my poor mom would have appreciated them so much.
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So here are the Top Ten ways to get your picky eater, EATING!

1. Don't make a big deal about it: Instead of announcing that you're all going to try something new for dinner, just make it normal. By just setting it in front of them they'll be less inclined to be stubborn if you don't make a big deal about it.

2. Make it fun: Make smiley face pancakes, fun shaped sandwiches and have creative names. That way things are a little more fun to eat. Think how much more exciting it is to eat "ants on a log" rather than celery, peanut butter and raisins.

3. Eat yourself: Kids learn best by example so make sure that you're eating different and healthy foods so that you're kids will follow your example.

4. Talk it up: In addition to showing your kids what they should be eating, talk about how great it is. Lots of "yums" and "this is so tasty"! It'll intrigue your kids into trying to eat what you're eating.

5. Have them help: Having your kids involved with making meals will help to get them excited about eating what they've made. So get their aprons and get cooking!

6. Variety: By having a variety of foods your kids will have options to choose from, but don't make them a separate meal from everyone else! By having variety there will surely be something they will eat without you having to cater to their wants.

7. Play with your food: Let your kids explore their food. By playing with the texture and consistency of what they're being offered they can understand a little bit more about what they're putting in their mouths.

8. Dip it: Eating is much more fun when you can dip your food into things. Whether it's chips and salsa, carrots and ranch, or chicken and ketchup- eating new foods is much easier when you're dipping into sauces that you're familiar with.

9. Expose Earlier: By exposing foods as early as developmentally appropriate, you won't have as much of a struggle with introducing new foods later on. So the earlier the better!

10. Be Sneaky: Sometimes you just can't get your kids to eat like you would like and let's face it, they need to eat healthy foods! So sneak vegetables into your spaghetti sauce, bake things instead of frying them, use the healthier option. Just find ways to make the foods they enjoy, healthy!

Of course there are other ways to get your kids eating healthy, these are just ten! Find the ways that work best for you and try to be patient when working with your picky eater. As one of the stubborn eaters, it gets better with age! Patience and understanding are the best ways to improve picky eating habits!

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