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Picky Eater Pointers

Is your a child picky eater? If so, you’re not alone.  Many parents find themselves searching for new ways to excite their little ones about meal time.  Just how can you persuade your finicky eater to try healthy, nutritious foods? Consider these ideas:

Talk about what you are eating
Appeal to your child’s sensibilities, if you make it interesting they will eat it. You can talk about the importance of foods and their benefit to our bodies by relating meals to your child’s favorite things.

•    Talk about how fueling our bodies’ with healthy foods is much like fueling cars.  
•    Try relating dinosaurs who are plant eaters to your child consuming veggies.  
•    Compare the fruits and nuts that zoo animals eat to foods that are being offered
     to your child. 

Try new foods with your child
Lead the way! Our children mirror our examples, so make a point to try new foods with your child and watch how their perception of trying new foods will change.

Continue to offer foods that have been rejected in the past
It‘s a child’s prerogative to change their minds about foods they like and do not like.  Allow the opportunity for that change by offering foods they think they don’t like in new ways.  As they are reintroduced to foods, you may find that their tastes have changed.

Limit extras near meal time
Quite often children are filling-up on milk, juice, and snacks prior to meal time.
Limit grazing and you will find their appetites and openness to new foods at meal times will improve.

Empower your child
Give your child the power to choose between healthy options.  For instance, offer a choice between steamed carrots or mixed veggies at a meal.  An empowered child is more likely to eat what they have selected for themselves. Remember consistency is the key.  Always present new options and avoid becoming discouraged if your child declines them. You are your child’s best example so if you eat healthy and nutritious foods your child will eventually mirror the same habits.

Saunya N. Bright, Maj, USAF, BSC, RD/LD
Maxwell AFB, Alabama 

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