Picky Eater Resources
10 Ways To Make Sure Your Picky Eater is Getting Important Nutrients
Do you have a picky eater at home? Here are ten ways to make sure they are still getting important nutrients:
- Offer a variety of food: Your picky eater may not try a new food the first time around. They may put it in their mouth and take it right out, but keep offering them a variety of food. Be sure to include a variety of colors, sizes, textures and flavors. You can have a plate with some items you know they like next to some new items. This will allow them to make their own choices. The more exposure they get to the new item(s), the more familiar they become with them, and the more likely they are going to give it a try!
- Teach them about fruits and veggies: When you are not eating a meal or snack, be sure to talk to your child about fruits and vegetables. Simple conversations about the names, colors and shapes of the food will make them interested before they see them on their plate. If your picky eaters are older, you can ask them why they like or dislike certain things and then talk about what their nutritional value is and why they are important. Making nutrition applicable to something they like doing (i.e. playing a sport) will make them think about their importance and possibly change the way they think about it.
- Ask for their help: While at the grocery store, ask to have them pick a new fruit, vegetable or cereal to try and place it in the shopping cart. This is the perfect opportunity to teach them about how to select what is ripe or in season. They will appreciate the experience and look forward to trying what they have picked out. Children like to be involved and make decisions of their own; this includes the foods they are eating.
- Make snack time fun: Cut your picky eater’s snacks into fun shapes. Count with your child while making their plate. Or offer dips and sauces that can add flavor to the snack. Adding a fun, learning activity to snack time will make your child focus on the activity and not be distracted by anything else.
- Stock your house with healthy choices: Buy breads and cereals with healthy whole grains and fiber. Keep your fridge stocked with milk, eggs, cheeses and yogurt for healthy protein. Wash and cut fruits and veggies for easy snacking. And prepare healthy finger foods for quick meals.
- Make mealtime a routine: Turn off all electronics when it is mealtime and sit together at the table at the same times of day. The routine will help your child understand that this is the time they are going to be eating and not anything else, like playing or watching TV. Having set meal times will help teach your child when to eat, and not allow them to snack all throughout the day. Too much snacking can decrease their appetite for dinner.
- Use toppings: If your picky eater doesn’t like food because it is plain, try to add something new! Sprinkling cheese on broccoli or almond slices on yogurt can add just enough flavors for your picky eater to give it a try, while not making them think about their dislike for something healthy.
- Limit sugary juices between meals: While juice may be your child’s favorite beverage, try to limit them to water between meals. The more sugary juice they have, the less likely they will want to eat something nutritious at snack time or mealtime. They will also be less likely to be hungry. Sugary foods and cereals should be limited as well.
- Lead by example: Children are impressionable, so it is best to lead by example. Making healthy choices for yourself and showing them that you eat nutritious foods can help your picky eater create a healthy relationship with food.
- Try Healthy Height™! Healthy Height™ is a great tasting shake mix that doctor developed and tested. Our formula contains safe ingredients your child will love. Healthy Height™ is filled with nutrients and minerals that are essential for the healthy growth and development of children. This shake mix is available in kid-approved Vanilla and Chocolate flavors, so your picky kid will be getting the important nutrients they need with a taste they love.