We all have adult friends who refuse to eat certain vegetables. We can all guess why. It starts when you are very young. Got a picky eater of your own? Here are 10 tips to encourage your kids to try new foods.
Mostly It’s Normal
The first advice we will give you is not to panic. It seems to be a normal part of the toddler stage. Don’t try to force your child to eat something they turn away from. There are other ways to improve this.
Keep The Portions Small
If there is a veggie your child won’t even look at, only put a small amount on their plate. Too much and they will turn their nose up at it. It will seem overwhelming. You may be able to coax them into one or two spoonfuls. At the same meal, make sure to offer healthy foods that they do like.
Invite A Friend For A Meal
Choose an adventurous friend who you know will eat almost anything. If your child sees their friend eating something they are not fond of, it might encourage them to give it a test.
Include Grandma and/or Grandpa
Having your own parents over for meals is a great way to begin a conversation about different foods. Maybe there was something you hated as a kid. Have them tell the story about all the ways you would try not to eat something you didn’t like, and how you learned to like that food. A funny tale about your own childhood antics can make for a humorous and casual dinner.
Practice Patience And Persistence
You may have to offer your child foods many many times before they will try it. Eventually, they will likely try that food, especially if they see the other members of the family enjoying that particular food.
- Ask them what new food THEY would like to try. This may encourage them to try new foods.
- Discourage snacking between meals.
- Consider letting them help prepare meals to get more used to foods.
- Always serve your child the same foods the rest of the family is eating, just a smaller portion.
- Some between-meal healthy snack examples include yogurt, apple slices, lean turkey, and peanut butter.
Contact Elmwood Pediatric Group at (585) 244-9720 if you think your child may not be eating enough food or if there is an underlying health reason they refuse to eat.