Do you have a fussy eater on your hands? Parenting magazine recently turned to famous chefs and nutritionists to shed some light on how you can end the dinnertime drama and get your kiddo to crave the good stuff.
Here are a few things you can do to get your nit-picky nibbler to — at long last — clean that plate!
Don’t cater to your kiddos. Studies show that children mimic their parent’s eating habits.The best thing you can do for your kids is to serve them exactly what’s on your plate. No back-up option! Kids are capable of eating whatever adults eat and it in turn exposes them to a wide range of healthy foods. Eliminate back-up foods like nuggets or pizza altogether and be consistent. You provide them with good food, it’s their job to eat it.
Introduce new foods with familiar ones. If you are trying to introduce a new food item to your kiddo, try serving it alongside their favorite food. They will associate the untested food with the feelings of their favorite food and they’re more likely to accept it next to something they know is delicious.
Make them your sous chef. A Canadian study recently found that kids who helped make dinner were more likely to enjoy healthier foods and eat more veggies than those kids who had no part in the meal preparation. Try taking them to the grocery store and let them pick out the vegetables. Growing your own herbs is also a great way to get kids involved in the process. When kids feel they have a hand in the cooking, they are more eager to taste and enjoy the fruits of their labor.
Give them options. When you’re planning a meal, provide your child with options. If they feel they have a choice in the matter, they are less likely to fight what’s on their plate. Ask them, would you like turkey or chicken? Carrots or green beans? But they must make a choice — and once the choice is made, stick with it. Consistency is key!
Find more tips on ending the suppertime struggle at Parenting.