While some kids are naturally pickier when it comes to food and others are naturally more inclined to try and love new things, that doesn’t mean that you have to just settle for a picky eater if you have one. Most picky eaters stay picky eaters because their parents don’t know how to get them to try more foods. If your child is picky–whether all the time or just currently–here are five great tips for raising good eaters that you will definitely want to try.
1. Choose First Foods Wisely
Children learn to like what they are fed. They simply cannot eat only chicken nuggets if they have never had chicken nuggets. While this doesn’t mean that you can never give your child treats, you do need to make sure that your toddler is eating and loving a wide variety of healthy foods before you even think about introducing junk food.
2. Serve Meals in Courses
If you currently serve your child a plate with a good variety of foods and your child eats only the ones he likes without touching the others, try serving the meals in courses instead. Serve the veggies first, when he is the hungriest and most likely to eat them. Then serve meats, then fruits.
3. Offer New Foods Multiple Times
What many parents do not realize is how many times children need to try certain foods before they learn to like them. This doesn’t mean you force them to eat foods they truly hate. You should, however, insist that they take at least one bite of whatever you have made. After trying a new food several times, they will eventually learn to love it.
4. Limit Snacks and Juice
The hungrier children are, the less picky they tend to be. If your child is snacking and drinking juice all day and then not eating his healthy foods, it is time to severely limit the juice and snacks. Your child will not starve. He will be hungry and eat when meal time rolls around.
5. Add Vegetables to Kid Friendly Foods
Raising good eaters is easier when you start young, but it’s never too late to start. If your child is already a few years old or more, you can simply begin slowly adapting the recipes you make already. Add diced zucchini in her spaghetti and broccoli to her macaroni and cheese. She’ll learn to love it!