CATCH CORNER (Healthy Tips)---How can I get my picky child to enjoy a wider variety of foods? Picky eaters are going through a normal developmental stage, exerting control over their environment and expressing concern about trusting the unfamiliar. Many picky eaters also prefer a “separate compartmented plate,” where one type of food doesn’t touch another. Just as it takes numerous repetitions for advertising to convince an adult consumer to buy, it takes most children 8-10 presentations of a new food before they will openly accept it. Rather than simply insist your child eat a new food, try the following:
- Offer a new food only when your child is hungry and rested.
- Present only one new food at a time
- Make it fun; present the food as a game, a play-filled experience. Cut the food into unusual shapes.
- Serve new foods with favorite foods to increase acceptance.
- Eat the new food yourself; children love to imitate.
- Have your child help to prepare foods. Often they will be more willing to try something when they helped to make it.
- Limit beverages. Picky eaters often fill up on liquids instead.
- Limit snacks to two per day.