Picky Eaters: How to Deal with Them at Home

by | Oct 31, 2011 | Health Habits, Nutrition Support, Uncategorized

picky eaters toddlers

I know many parents scold their children no end for being picky eaters at home. Children picky eaters love the familiar and once they like a particular food, they prefer to stick to it and want it at every meal.

The key is to figure out which ingredient in the food triggers the need for more.

For example, most kids love peanut butter. Peanut butter is a healthy food when eaten within limits. All a picky eater needs you to do is imagine new items and incorporate (say) peanut butter into them – not too much, just sufficient so your child can see and taste it.

Use Your Free Time & Imagination

Whenever you have some free time on your hands, imagine foods you can cook up using the ingredients that your child loves. Make an extensive list of various foods that your child loves. Once you have the list ready, select a few and figure out how you are going to incorporate your picky eaters favourite ingredient. Remember, most picky eaters switch over to different foods. So do not spend too much time trying to make an extensive list. You may soon find that your child’s taste has changed over-night.

Cook Different Meals

Once you put your ideas into practice, lest your picky eater gets super picky, do not cook the same meal for lunch and dinner. Instead, randomly select an item from the list you’ve made and cook one for lunch and another for dinner. That way you present less chance for a rejection.

Make the Meal Visually Appealing

Use tactics such as creating a small smile on the dinner plate using tomato ketchup or even jam. Spoon the food onto the plate just above the smile. Think of other equally appealing decorative ideas and you will have gone a long way in conquering your picky eater.

Use Chocolate to Catch Attention

Chocolate always presents a challenge. Children love chocolate in everything so instead of liberally mixing it in everything, use it sparsely. For example, squeeze out a circle of chocolate on top of the milk and create a smiley face. When serving a sandwich, put a large chocolate dot at the top of the plate. Sight and taste of chocolate is more than enough to satisfy your picky child. You do not need to saturate the food with it.

Show your Picky Eater the Path to Walk

Lead by example is the most important when you are teaching healthy eating habits to your children. Make sure that all family members especially other children eat healthy food. If elder siblings eat healthy food, the picky eater in your house will soon find that he or she is different. Although a bit controversial, you can also use the white lie tactic. For example, if your picky eater loves pizza for breakfast, lunch and dinner, try telling your child that others do not eat the same food because it creates worms in the stomach. Seek the help of a friend of his (or age) to say something like “hey, you got a boil on your ear, do you have worms in your stomach?” Little tricks like these go a long way in behaviour modification – and that is what you need. To modify the behavior of your picky eater.