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  • Dr. Megan Westbrook

How to handle a Picky Eater

As a former picky eater, I know how hard it can be to get children to eat their vegetables. It can be frustrating, annoying, and downright maddening. You want your children to be healthy and grow up strong, but how can they do that if they refuse everything you put on a plate for them? I’m going to give you a few tricks to help get your little one to eat the good stuff.

  1. Follow the leader – make sure you’re setting an example for your children by eating healthy, yourself. If they see you doing it, they’re going to want to do it, too!

  2. Teamwork – involve your kids in the food-making process. From going to the store or farmer’s market to cleaning the vegetables, let them help! It will almost always get them to eat what they’ve helped make.

  3. Fun times – food is fun! Kids are constantly trying to have fun, so why should dinner time be any different? Arrange the food in a fun shape like a smiley face or star. Have them play make believe like their broccoli florets are a forest!

  4. No frowns – one of the hardest things to do is to not make them finish their plate. This creates a negative food experience and every time they go to eat that food they’ll associate it with a bad feeling. This will put a huge dent into their progress of eating veggies. On the other end of that, if they finish their food on their own, reward them!

  5. Colors – children love colors and food should be no different! Kids also tend to prefer their food separated and not mixed together (like a casserole). Try sticking with separate vegetable dishes, but don’t be afraid to season! Organize the colorful veggies on their plate in fun pattern.

These are just some basic steps to help with the picky eater in your life. Food should always be fun and interactive with kids, but make sure you’re setting a good example for them by taking care of yourself!

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