7 Tips For Picky Eaters

Getting a picky eater to try new foods and to eat what you have made for dinner can be frustrating. Our eldest child is an extremely picky eater, but he is slowly starting to try new foods. We have tried several different tactics, and some of them have worked really well.

1. Play restaurant. Give your child a book and pretend to take his order. Tell your child what the "specials" are for the day. Making lunch fun will help your picky eater. 

2. Talk up the meal before and while you are cooking. Also, have your child help with the preparation of the meal. She will have a sense of accomplishment and want to try her creation. 

3. Finger foods. My eldest child loves finger foods, and now wants them all the time. It only took one time for me talking about how great the meal was going to be, and he now request it all the time. Example of a finger food meal: block cheese, apple slices, and pretzels. My rule of thumb is to include a dairy, a carb, and a fruit. 

4. Our pediatrician told us not to fret over J not eating every meal. One day he may eat 2 meals, the next day eat only 1 meal, and the next eat 3 full meals. If he gets hungry he will eat. Remember to consult with your doctor about your child's dietary needs. 

5. If my child doesn't want what we are having to eat, he goes hungry. I refuse to make two different meals. If my 4 year old does not eat lunch, he goes down for a nap, and if he refuses to eat dinner he goes to bed early. This keeps us from arguing over whether he will eat of not. He gets tired faster if he does not eat, so the nap takes care of this problem. 

6. Keep presenting new foods to your child. They may not try it the first few times, but they will try it eventually. Praise him for trying something new even if he does not like it. He will be encouraged to try new foods the next time. 

7. We do not waste food. If J will not eat his pretzels for lunch then I will save them for a snack. If he refuses to eat something for dinner I will save it, but I do not make him eat it for breakfast the next morning. Each day starts with a clean slate. 

Making sure your child gets the nutrition he needs is what's important. Don't worry if he is getting enough to eat. If he is hungry, he will eat. Always talk to your doctor about your child's dietary needs. Let me know if you have any tips that have helped with your picky eater. 

Amanda

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