Having a picky eater in the house is a real challenge sometimes. Sometimes they do not like what you have made for the rest of the family.
Sometimes they are being picky just for the sake of being picky. Either way, they can be a real pain. However, there is hope and you do have some options.
Picky eaters are not picky due to food allergies or some medical condition. Picky eaters will only eat certain foods, disregarding the rest.
Do not make them their own meal. You are normalizing their behavior by doing this. They need to get to know about other foods. They should eat what everyone else is eating.
Some kids are picky eaters because they are only eating those foods. They need to get to know other foods before they get too fussy. Sometimes learning about other foods will help to broaden their horizons, making them less picky.
1. The No-Cry Picky Eater Solution: Gentle Ways to Encourage Your Child to Eat―and Eat Healthy
2. The Picky Palate Cookbook
3. Healthy Recipes for Picky Eaters: Create Tasty Meals Your Kids Will Love to Eat
4. The Fussy Eaters’ Recipe Book: 135 Quick, Tasty and Healthy Recipes that Your Kids Will Actually Eat
5. The Picky Eater Project: 6 Weeks to Happier, Healthier Family Mealtimes
Ten Ways To Handle A Picky Eater in Your Family
1) Do not beg or bribe your child to eat. One parent bribed their kid with $20 to eat something else. Your child might not be a fan of vegetables or fruits. Make them with the meal and serve it with a smile.
Allow your child to eat on their own. You cannot force your child to eat something. Some kids become picky eaters out of rebellion. The more you force something, the more they have to rebel against.
2) Some kids like fried chicken and other fast foods. Learn how to make these meals at home. Set a limit on how often you serve these dishes. Your child will learn moderation and will not feel denied of something they love.
3) Do you know what the two bite rile is? It is where your child tries two bites of something new, just to see if they like it. It is a way for your child to learn something new without feeling pressured to do so. They will not like everything, but they will like something.
Talk to them about it. Find out what they liked and when they want to try it again. Picky eaters just need a little encouragement sometimes.
4) Let them have some input in what meals you make. Ask them to help you plan out a meal once a week. That way they have input and are excited about the food. You can still offer some suggestions, but allow them to freedom to make the final choice.
5) Vegetables are hard win for picky eaters. A lot of people do not like vegetables, no matter how healthy they are. Sometimes you need to dress the vegetable up in a suit to win them over.
A good example of this is “cabbage and ham”. Picky eaters are not going to be excited about a dish that starts with “cabbage”. They will be excited about a dish that begins with “ham”. Turn the words around, putting the exciting part first. Your child may be more inclined to try it then.
What about French fries? French fries are a staple for many people, myself included. It is okay to make them once in a while but not too often. French fries are considered a “junk food” and a steady diet of it is not healthy.
6) There are a variety of cookbooks tailored for picky eaters, including Elizabeth Pantley’s The No-Cry Picky Eater Solution. This is not your average Betty Crocker cookbook. It has a lot of tips and solution on how to get your family to eat healthily.
It has a lot of new dishes you should try to motivate your family, including your picky eater. You will find everything you are looking for in this book. You can pick it up online today.
7) A transition is difficult for a lot of people. Think back to how you were at that age. Were you any different? Explain to your child why eating healthily is important. Explain to them why variety is important to the diet. You cannot just deny them something. Explain to them the reason for the denial and then offer an alternative.
8) Focus less on the number of fruits and vegetables you are serving and more in the presentation. Kids are not going to eat something that does not look appetizing. Sometimes you need to dress up the pig before you present it.
9) You need to keep trying. Picky eaters want you to give up because it means the win. They want to be in control. You need to show them that you are the one in control.
10) Do not micromanage what your child eats. Micromanaging anyone is a recipe for disaster. Trust your child. Let them pick the food they want and eat it when they are ready.
Picky eaters are smart. They know what they want and do not want. Give your picky eater the freedom to make up their own mind.
Give them the freedom to come to their own conclusions. Once you put trust on your child to do the right thing, the ten tips listed above will be easy to follow.