More Vegetables Please: Five Tips for Your Picky Eater
In many homes, dinner with children has become a tug-of-war over the healthy food parents are promoting versus the fried foods and sweets kids prefer. If you have fussy eaters, there are ways to stop the mealtime madness. Try these tips to help turn stressful meals into pleasant and nutritious family time.
- Stop Short-Order Cooking – Parents who fix chicken nuggets or frozen pizza for the children while cooking a separate menu for the adults are helping reinforce the idea that it’s OK to be a picky eater. Serving the same meal for everyone helps teach your child that healthy food isn’t just for the adults and saves you time in the kitchen.
- Pair Familiar and New Foods – Children are less likely to be intimidated by trying a new dish if you serve it with a familiar food you know they will eat.
- Let Children Help in the Kitchen – If your children help fix the meal, they are more likely to eat the food. Even small children can help tear lettuce, wash raw veggies, or put salad dressing on the table.
- Give Them Choices – Try serving two vegetables and let your child pick the one he or she wants. This lets children feel like they have some control over the foods they eat.
- Avoid Snacking Near Mealtime – Try to avoid snacks for at least one hour before a mealtime. When children are truly hungry, they are more likely to eat the food served at dinner.
Need Nutrition Guidance?
If you’re still struggling with eating battles or wondering if your child is getting adequate nutrition to support a healthy body, schedule an appointment with your child’s primary care doctor. The family practice physicians at LeBauer HealthCare can review eating habits and help you develop steps that will lead to a more balanced diet. To schedule an appointment, find a LeBauer location that is convenient for you.
Blueberry Granola Parfaits
For a quick and healthy snack that children will love, try this easy blueberry granola parfait.
- 2 cups vanilla fat-free yogurt
- 2 cups blueberries
- 1 cup granola
Spoon 1/4 cup yogurt into each of 4 parfait glasses; top each serving with 1/4 cup blueberries and 1/4 cup granola.