It’s too spicy! It’s too bland! I don’t like ketchup, and I’d prefer ham! It seems the pickiest eaters in the world are kids. Those undeveloped kid taste buds change their minds daily, and it can be very frustrating.
When I was kid that plate of unwanted food would sit until morning, or whenever I ate it, and nothing else would be given. It was a fight; no better yet it was a war to see what would last longer, my picky hunger or my parents’ determination to make me eat what I was given. Though I can’t say I disagree with this method–the boss is in fact the boss, there are a few easier ways to help trick your picky kid into eating, maybe with just a skirmish rather than a war.
Peek-a-Boo I don’t see you:
I saw my sister cooking spaghetti once. She had a blender and was pureeing vegetables. Carrots, celery, onion, you name it, it was becoming goo. I naturally said, “What in gods name are you doing?” She was blending the vegetables because her picky eater disliked chunks, and the vegetables he liked changed daily. By making them unseen the kids ate that spaghetti damn near without a fork, nutritional veggies and all. So trick number 1 to get a picky kid to eat? Hide it. Later on you can slowly make those hidden foods more visible, and use, “You’ve been eating it all along” as a defense.
Come on over here Baby:
The second best way to get a picky eater to eat, which may make a mess in the mix, is to get them involved. Research shows kids that help prepare what they eat are far more likely to eat it, whether they like the ingredients or not. Your picky eater is never too young to help either, just pick age appropriate tasks, for example, younger kids could simply pick fruit at the grocery store or wash it at home. An older picky eater could stir the soup, or crack the eggs. Another tip for picky kids is to let them make their own plate, by allowing them this independence you make them feel as if they chose to eat what you’re giving them, which eliminates the fight for dominance so many toddlers and kids go through.
You can also consider a home garden. Kids that grew the vegetables you’re trying to make them to eat are more likely to eat them out of pride. If you don’t have space consider and upside down garden to double the fun and cut the space.
Let’s play a game:
I know most parents’ don’t have time to make every single meal time fun, but turning meal time into a game or engaging educational experience is another way to trick a picky eater to eat. Even if meal time doesn’t become a game, numerous studies show that families that eat together not only have more fun, but their children are less prone to obesity and eat healthier. Just sitting down with you child every meal time will help them eat.
Monkey see, Monkey eat:
My final tip for getting a picky kid to eat is to eat it yourself, and be happy about it. Even if you don’t like something if you expect your kid to eat it, you need to eat it and not show that you don’t like it. Chances are if you take a bite of green beans twist your face in agony and say, “ewwwww!” your picky eater is not going to pick green beans for dinner.
I hope this has helped you win the meal time war with your picky eater, Good luck, and mind the dog, he’s a traitor.