When kids are picky eaters

Picky eaters always create problems. Not only they are difficult to please and create extra work, but picky eaters often turn meal times into an unpleasant experience. Parents worry when they think their kids are not getting enough food.

Some kids are picky eaters

Children are not born picky eaters but raised to become such. Probably who said that never had a child who obstinately stuck to one or two favorite foods or was a super-taster. Having said so, these are extreme cases, and most pickiness can be dealt with during the toddler and early childhood years.

Is your child really a picky eater?

Listen to what your child say and the reason a certain food is a problem. It may not be the taste after all. It may turn out that a difficult digestion, food sensitivity or allergies are the reason your kid doe not like a particular. In that case, the best idea is to omit that food from the diet. Y may be able to introduce it later – or never, if it is an allergy problem.

How picky?

There are many different levels of being picky. If your children are getting their recommended calories and eating nutritious foods even if they are the same foods over and over again then there really isn't a lot of cause for concern. They may not like escargots, but if their diet is varied enough, it does not really matter.

A little pickiness is normal, even healthy, in a young child. Their taste buds are more attuned to sweet flavours. This is a good trait when you think that many of the things a child should not eat are bitter or taste very strong,. This natural reluctance will prevent them from getting sick by eating what they should not. However, if this attitude extends to perfectly good food, there are thing you can do to help them be more adventurous with their meals.

If you are concerned about the nutrition your kids are getting, you can add a multivitamin to their daily routine if they don't take one already.

How to deal with picky eaters

You can continue trying to introduce new foods. Over time as the child gets older they will become gradually less picky. Kids may grow to like something they rejected for years. Many adults tell the story of their favorite food being something they were not able to stand as a child.

When trying something new, serve it with other familiar food around and preferably a favorite food, something they really like. But don’t do not use food as a reward for food. Saying “You can have XYZ if you eat ABC” only encourages the refusal of food.
If you are serving something you know is not a favourite food, try not to make a big deal about it, just serve food as usual with no threats, arguments or discussions and wait to see what happens before taking any actions.

Make food interesting

Shape it, get out the cookie cutters and cut food into more exciting shapes.

Make it a sandwich, wrap, roll, pita, to a choosy child everything seems to taste better this way

Don't try to trick the child into eating something they don't like, it will only make them angry and distrusting of what they're being served. For example if a child doesn't like peppers don't try to hide them in their next sandwich thinking they will like it if they just try it. It is better to establish a minimum they should eat: As you don’t like peas, you only need to eat 2 teaspoons. Kids want to please and they may consider eating 2 teaspoons of peas worth the effort, if that makes you happy.

When establishing minimum requirements, encourage, don’t force. If your force a child to eat anything they don't want to eat, it will only have the opposite effect that you want to accomplish.

Try to get them involved in meal time decisions and cooking. They are more likely to eat something that they helped make even if it's new and different. If vegetables are the problem, you can go as far as growing some with their help, in your garden or in containers.

Go out to eat. As silly as that sounds even picky eaters seem willing to try something new when it is on the menu at a restaurant.