22 Oct 4 Tips for Feeding Picky Eaters
Is your child a picky eater? Do they refuse to eat almost anything you put in front of them? Is getting them to try new things a battle? Do they have their own special set of rules about what they will and won’t try? If this sounds like your child, then you are not alone. Most kids go through their picky eating stage between the ages of 5-10, but it can happen sooner than that and last much longer than that as well.
While having picky eaters at home may be frustrating and it may cause you to worry about your little one’s diet, there are some things you can do to help feed picky eaters and finally get them to eat (even a little) more openly.
- Give your child choices. Many kids will warm up to the idea of certain foods (particularly vegetables) if they have a choice in the matter. Give your children a few different vegetables to pick from at meal time and say they need to pick at least one to try. Give your child a variety of color options with vegetables, sometimes color alone can turn a child off.
- Don’t hide the veggies. It should come as no surprise that vegetables tend to be the hardest thing to get kids to eat. While many parents will try to hide veggies or puree them into other foods, this isn’t teaching your child to like vegetables, and he will never give plain veggies a try if he doesn’t even know he is eating them. This is why dipping sauces are a great option. Give your child a number of different dipping sauces to choose from instead of hiding the vegetables altogether.
- Limit liquid calories. Many kids don’t necessarily have certain foods they detest, they just are “never” hungry. Sometimes, this happens in kids who drink their calories. If your little one is drinking lots of milk and juice and only really getting their calories from liquids, switch it up to water, you may be surprised to find how quickly their appetite comes back.
- Make sure the problem isn’t physical. Unfortunately, being a picky eater is pretty common in kids, but learning when and what they want to eat is part of learning to be independent and ultimately forming their own healthy eating habits. Do your best to keep giving your child as many options as you can and attempting to introduce more and more new foods. If you worry there may be something else to blame, make an appointment with your pediatrician to ensure your child isn’t dealing with a physical problem, or a mental health issue that is limiting their ability to eat.
Here at Continuum Pediatrics, we know how frustrating it can be to deal with a picky eater. If you are looking for more help with your child’s eating habits or are worried about your little one’s nutrition, give us a call at 817-617-8600 today and make an appointment with one of our pediatricians.