Combating Picky Eating

Posted on July 30th, 2018
Picky eating is a fairly common behavior for young children, so fear not if you’ve got picky eaters at home! Picky eating is usually temporary and will typically ends kiddos head off for school. Children often reject new fruits and vegetables based on their color, shape, or texture alone before they even taste the food. It is important for children to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables to get all of the nutrients that they need to be healthy and grow. Building healthy habits as a child can translate to healthy eating habits as adults!
There are a few techniques that you can try to help deal with your child’s picky eating behavior.
  • For example, let your child be involved with grocery shopping. By allowing them to see the fruits and vegetables in the store and picking out what they find interesting, it will make them more inclined to try it!
  • Also, try to get your child involved in the cooking process. Children get excited when they can taste food and help make meals. It’s also a great way to spend more time with your kids!
  • You can try offering choices to your children and see which one they prefer, such as offering broccoli or green beans as opposed to just broccoli.
  • Lastly, make sure to offer the same foods to everyone in the family! If everyone else is eating the food, your child may be more inclined to give it a try. It typically takes several exposures to a new food before a child will begin to warm up to it. If your child immediately rejects a new fruit or vegetable, don’t give up! Try presenting it to them in a different way. There are so many ways to cook vegetables. They can be steamed, sautéed, grilled, roasted, or mashed (just to name a few)! If your child is not a fan of one technique, give another a try. You can also make food fun by cutting fruits and vegetables into different shapes or having your child make pictures with the produce! Who wouldn’t like art you can eat?
Making food fun will help your child to become more comfortable with new foods and enjoy eating them! Here are some tips for disguising vegetables in your meals! If your child adores all things pasta, then try swapping the noodles for spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles! Spiralizers are a cheap, easy tool to have in the kitchen, or you can purchase pre-spiraled noodles at Reasor’s! It is a great way to incorporate more veggies into the diet. If your child loves mashed potatoes, then try mashed cauliflower. All kids are big fans of chicken nuggets. Try making nuggets out of chickpeas, or cauliflower. If your child likes smoothies, try blending some veggies in with the fruit, such as spinach, kale, or carrots to offer some additional nutrients. Give some of these tips a try! Who knows, maybe they won’t even notice the change!

Content was originally published as a Facebook note for Reasor’s Healthy Living.

Blog post reviewed by Reasor’s Registered Dietitian Heather Steele, RD/LD

Information included does not constitute medical advice and should only be used as a general recommendation for a healthy, balanced diet and lifestyle. Reasor’s Registered Dietitian’s opinions and recommendations are her own; she is not paid to endorse any products or services.