3 Tips for Picky Eaters to Ease the Stress at Mealtime
Dealing with a picky eater at mealtime is about as fun as spending your lunch hour working. As a parent, it's impossible not to grow tired of the nagging and the crushed hopes that this meal is going to be the one they'll actually eat. Not to mention the extra work of prepping multiple meals for your family and the fear that your child may never outgrow their food aversions.
Ready to lighten your load? Try out one or two of these tips for picky eaters this week.
Make Your Food and Mealtimes More Stimulating
It's time to infuse a bit more fun into your food routines – for your sake and your child's.
The American Heart Association recommends including healthy finger foods as a way to keep your kids engaged in the eating process. Ease the tension by incorporating your child's favorite colors and shapes into meals. And keep mealtime itself fun by trying one of these dinnertime games – broken down by your children's ages – from The Family Dinner Project.
Get Your Child Involved with Meal Prep
Getting your children involved means more than just having them help out in the kitchen, though that's a great place to start. If you make your child part of the entire food process, they'll be more likely to want to try what they've co-created.
Think about growing some of your own food or herbs. Have your child plant the seeds or seedlings with you, then send them to the garden to pick the ingredients you're going to use. Or let your kids choose a few ingredients from the grocery store and help them cook a recipe using those ingredients later in the week.
Be Sneaky With Your Healthy Ingredients
There's nothing wrong with sneaking some healthy ingredients into your child's go-to foods. You might add mashed avocado to grilled cheese sandwiches, for example, or put pureed carrots into spaghetti sauce.
Finally, remember that no matter which tips for picky eaters you decide to try, it's important to offer your child fruits and vegetables regularly. Stick to it and eventually eating them will be a normal part of your child's day.