Dr. Corinne Masur
Just now I heard Katie Workman talking on the radio about picky eaters. What a great subject! Some of her advice and mine:
1. Eat with your children. As soon as they start eating solid food, pull the high chair up to the table and let your children eats meals with you. Let them see you eating and enjoying all sorts of food. When they are toddlers, give them little bits when they ask. Make sure they see you eat and enjoy a variety of vegetables, fruits, salads, etc.
2. Don’t make a big deal out of eating and trying new things. Just present what you have made for breakfast, lunch or dinner and let them try it. If they don’t like it, stay calm. There will be another chance. Just say, When they whine, “Mom (or Dad) I don’t LIKE this”, just say “OK” and move on. Make sure there is at least one thing on the menu that they DO like – mashed potatoes, pasta, you know, the child-proof foods.
3. When you do introduce something new, remember, it may take as many as 10 tries for your child to get used to it if they don’t like it right away. Try different preparations. A child who does not like steamed broccoli plain may love cold broccoli if they can dip it in ranch dressing. Or they may like roasted broccoli which has a little olive oil and salt on it. My son never liked cauliflower but when I roasted it and put a little parmesan cheese on top to melt, he loved it and never rejected cauliflower again.
4. Let your children see other children eating who are not picky. Instead of being jealous of the mother who brags that her child eats EVERYTHING, invite her to lunch, say nothing to your toddler/young child and just let them eat together. Little kids LOVE to see what bigger kids are doing and they will often follow suit!
5. Try not cajole your child to eat. Try to just enjoy meal time. However, basic rules apply: no dessert until you’ve eaten some dinner. And – you must sit at the table while we all have our meal.
And let us know: What tricks have worked for you?
One thought on “Tips for Parents of Picky Eaters”
I have found that it is so important to keep reintroducing foods. It took at least 15 introductions to brussel sprouts until my daughter said one day, “I love brussel sprouts!” The first 14 times she balked, whined, resisted, and complained. We do request that she “takes a taste”–she doesn’t have to love it and she doesn’t have to eat the whole thing, but we want her to be “adventurous.”