Having a child that turns his nose at all things green can be frustrating. But don’t panic and give up hope yet. Toddlers and preschool-aged children are notorious for being unpredictable with their food choices. Foods are still a new experience for toddlers and preschoolers, so they need to be exposed to a variety of textures, flavors, and variety to figure out what is enjoyable to them. The more often your little one is exposed to a variety of foods, the most likely he will be willing to try new things. Here are a few helpful tips to handle your picky eater.
- Make mealtimes a positive, relaxing experience. Turn off TV or background noise, turn down the lights, sit down with them and make conversation light. If there is too much distraction, your toddler or preschooler may be distracted and lose interest in what is being served.
- Try to create structured mealtimes to minimize grazing on sugary non-nutritious snacks throughout the day. Try to have 3 meals a day with two snack times with healthy snacks in between meals.
- Have your little one help with setting the table or preparing the meal. Allowing them to help prepare the meal gives them a great sense of pride and will often help entice them to try what they’ve created.
- Serve a variety of healthy foods at each mealtime – but don’t make a big deal out of the new foods. Subtly talk about their texture and colors and make them appealing to your little one.
- Try to sneak in one new food to each meal at a time. Your preschooler or toddler may get overwhelmed if there are too many new foods on their plate and not be willing to try any of it.
- Sneak in nutritious foods to their favorite foods. Some examples are adding shredded zucchini and carrots to meatloaf. Adding pureed carrots to mac and cheese or making muffins with banana and whole-wheat flour.
Try out of few of these tips the next time you’re battling the woes of picky eating. It is said that a child needs to try something 15 times before he likes it. So stay persistent, stick with it and in no time your picky preschooler will be asking for a second helping of broccoli.