How to Please a Picky Eater

Filed under: Preschoolers, Big Kids, Tweens, Teens, Nutrition: Health, Mealtime

Help your kid take a gastronomic adventure. Credit: Corbis


From soupy sauces to brown beans, we all had foods that we couldn't tolerate as children. If you ever sat at the dinner table scowling and closed-mouthed while your parents begged you to eat, you were not alone.

According to a study by Dr. Betty Carruth of the American Dietetic Association, nearly 50 percent of caretakers considered their child a picky eater.

Though the occurrence is common, parents rightfully worry when they are faced with a child who refuses to eat. Don't worry -- we have five tips to help parents of cuisine-phobic kids.

1. Spend. Take your child on a field trip to your local farmer's market. From this hearth of healthy foods, have her select 10 yummy fruits and vegetables.

2. Entertain. Make mealtimes fun by presenting food in interesting ways. Cut sandwiches into stars. Serve veggies in fun-shaped bowls. Use colorful cups, spoons, and plates.

3. Challenge. From the produce section of the supermarket, ask your child to choose a fruit for the whole family to try. Make this your family's fruit-of-the-week.

4. Enlist. Have your child make a list of the foods they love. From this list, create several well-balanced menus. Consider including your child in the preparation of these meals. This can be educational and fun.

5. Retreat. Although your child's tastes are eccentric, are her meals balanced? If they are, then you should permit her preferences. Remember there will be bigger battles to fight.

Even if your child is a picky eater, you can appease her peculiar palate and make sure she's getting the nutrition she needs. Remember: Food should be fun, not frustrating.

Related: Ice Cream Every Day - How Bad?

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.