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Ugh. Picky eaters.
If you have a kid who is a picky eater, you may feel like you’re stuck in some weird food web spun by a stressful spider who likes to push your buttons. And, if you have to hear one more “I don’t like that!” you may just lose it. For good.
So how do you turn that frown upside down and get your fine finicky ones to fancy some of your food?
5 Ways to Handle Picky Eaters
1. Get your kids involved in the food decisions.
Even toddlers like to make their own decisions, so give them a choice of three different foods for a meal and let them choose. You get the say on which food they can have and they get to make a decision and feel like they’re in control.
2. Don’t make kids clean their plate.
Allow kids to understand when they’re full and that they need to stop eating when it happens. Plus, if a kid goes into the meal knowing that he has to clean his plate before he can leave the table, it compounds the stress. And, who needs that?
3. Let your kid shop and plan the meals with you.
Again, it’s about allowing your kids some control. Let your child pick out some things they would like at the grocery store. Also, sit down and plan out dinner for that evening with your child, asking them what you should have for a protein and vegetable. Make it a game and see how many bright colors you can use in one meal!
4. Make cooking fun.
Let your kids cook with you. If you make food super fun, like allowing them to wear a chef’s coat and hat and calling them “Chef,” it will make your kids more interested in food. If they cook or prepare it, they’re more likely to eat it.
Your kids aren’t going to starve. And, if they want to eat macaroni and cheese 10 days in a row, so what? Just know that for most kids it’s a phase that they’ll be out of soon enough. However, if it gets to a point that you’re worried for their health, it’s time to talk to a health care professional.