Handle Picky Eaters
Did you know there is a science behind your Handle Picky Eaters? Some researchers believe that “Handle Picky Eaters” is genetic! It all comes back to the “cave-man era.” When children learned to run on their own (about 2 yrs. old) they needed to be cautious about what they put in their mouth. They couldn’t just go eat any berry they found because it could have been poisonous. It’s no wonder your child now refuses to try new foods. Go figure out the Handle Picky Eaters.
It’s time for the battle to end. Fortunately there are some things you can do to ensure your child will end up with a healthy diet without the daily struggle of dealing with a Handle Picky Eaters.
1) Give them the “yucky” food first. And nothing else. Literally, only put the broccoli or potatoes, or whatever they will be most likely not to eat on their plate with nothing else. After they finish that food, then give them the other foods you are offering in the order of least likely to eat to most likely to eat.
2) Be consistent. Kids typically won’t just eat a new food. They will be hesitant. It takes 10-15 tries before a child will accept a new food. Active kids often don’t like to sit still long enough to eat. Be consistent with that too, “When we eat, we stay seated.” Practice makes perfect.
3) Make the foods they don’t like “easier” to eat. For example, roast the vegetables to bring out their natural sweetness. Or combat bitter food with something sour. For example, squeeze some lemon juice on cooked broccoli, brussel sprouts, or green beans.
4) Sometimes it’s all about temperature. Certain kids would not eat cooked peas, but they would eat them frozen right out of the bag. Try varying the temperature of what you are serving.
5) Be creative. This study proved that more vegetables were eaten when they were given catchy names. For example, “carrots” were named “x-ray vision carrots” and “broccoli” was named “power punch broccoli.” This will make the situation with your Handle Picky Eaters more fun for you too.
6) Above all, do not pressure or force your child to eat. This study shows that when children are pressured to eat they are more likely NOT to eat the given food. Instead, eat the food yourself along with giving it to your child and explain how tasty and good for you it is. If the child doesn’t eat it, then don’t make a big deal of it.
7) Don’t become a short order cook. It is not necessary to cook three different meals to satisfy your family. One meal should suffice. If your child is incredible picky, make sure one of the items in the meal is something he/she will eat.
8) Have your child help you prepare the meal. For example, let them drop the fruit in the bowl for a fruit salad.
Handle Picky Eaters
Regardless if you try these tricks and they work or fail, kids and eating will probably never go exactly the way you would like it to. Hopefully after a few years, you can enjoy your meals in a somewhat more peaceful setting with good Handle Picky Eaters and good conversation.
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