There is always at least one picky eater in the family. With a picky eater, mealtimes can seem more like a battle than a relaxing way to spend time with your family. If battling over vegetables has pushed you too far, don’t give up just yet. With these tips, your picky eater can also be a healthy eater.
Lead by Example
As a parent, you are your child’s most important role model — especially when it comes to making healthy choices. If you eat healthy and try new foods, your child will, too.
Stock Up on Healthy Choices
Buy plenty of fruits, veggies, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products.
Keep healthy foods where they’re easy for your kids to see.
Limit Junk Food in Your Home
Limit the number of foods high in fat and added sugar that you bring into your home. Your child won’t choose junk food if it’s not around.
Don’t Force It
Forcing your child to eat certain foods will only cause stress for you and your child. Serve a few fruits and veggies at mealtimes. Let your kids find the foods they like. Encourage your kids to try everything you serve.
Set a “one-bite rule”—Kids must try at least one bite of each food on their plate.
Try New Foods
Try different textures and flavors to help your kids find foods they like.
Instead of sliced apple, try sliced avocado or sliced kiwi.
Instead of carrot sticks, try snap peas, sliced bell peppers, or cucumbers.
Here are 3 more tips for dealing with a picky eater:
Start by introducing healthier elements into foods that your child already likes. For example, offer blueberry pancakes, carrot muffins, fruit slices over a favorite cereal, chunks of bell pepper in a potato salad, or shredded veggies over rice.
Include your kids in the prep work. By having your kids being involved in grocery shopping and food preparation, your kids will feel some ownership over the meal, they may be more likely to eat it.
Don’t buy unhealthy foods. Out of sight, out of mind. If the chips and cookies aren’t around, your kids can’t eat them. They may resist at first, but when they get hungry, they’ll start munching the cucumber sticks. Keep healthy foods on hand — 100 percent.
Paola Henderson born in Ecuador came to Trinidad as a child, not speaking a word of English. Now she considers herself a true Trinidadian, with a family of her own. Her inspiration to health came after her first born son, was born with a liver disease. Medically they did not see much improvement, but when she found the alternative and focused on her sons’ diet, his health improved tremendously. Paola felt the need to increase her knowledge and heal her son herself.
Paola enrolled in an online program at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN), out of New York City to become a Health Coach. Not only has she been improving her son’s life, her life and the rest of her family, she is now making this her career as she sees so many Trinidadians battling with chronic disease, poor eating habits, stress, low energy and unhappy day to day lives. Her focus is on busy parents, who struggle with fitting healthier lifestyles into already packed and stressful lives, and on changing the concept of ‘tuck shop’ in schools from processed, packaged foods to healthy and wholesome options for our nation’s children.
Follow her at @paolahendersonhealthcoach or at www.paolahenderson.com.