Top 5 Tips To Get Your Picky Eater To Try New Food & Eat Their Veggies
#1. Let your kiddo help with meal prep. This gives them ownership of the meal.
Great prep tasks for toddlers:
- deveining snap peas
- trimming asparagus
- whisking dressings and sauces
- mixing batters
- measuring spices and herbs
#2. Make it fun!
Add an element of DIY: Put toppings, dressings or sauces on the side and let your tot add them herself. It’s fun for the kiddos to sprinkle on toasted sesame seeds or use a measuring spoon to drizzle dressing on top.
Make it visual: a veggie cutter (I use these- Stainless Steel Vegetable Cutters (SILVER, 1)
), cookie cutter or lion pick can go a long way. Once, I got my toddler to try red peppers by using star shaped cookie cutters. The fun shape piqued her interest. She picked one up and ate it without any prompting from me.
To shop the cute food picks above, click below to go to Amazon.
Another easy way to present food in a fun way is to use kabobs. Kabob veggies, kabob fruit, kabob chicken, anything kabob is cool to a kid.
#3. 1-Bite Rule: the child should try one bite of a new food. If they don’t like it, they do not have to eat more. Be consistent and your kid will start to expect this routine.
It took me about 2-3 weeks of enforcing this rule to get my picky eater to accept that it’s here to stay. Now, she doesn’t resist when I gently remind her of the rule. This helps to make mealtimes stress free.
The goal is to sit down together as a family and enjoy good food and each other’s company.
This rule takes the focus off of the usual struggles like eating all the greens and trying a new food.
Instead, talk about your day and ask questions like what book your child read today in preschool, while giving reminders of the 1-Bite Rule.
#4. Present new foods among familiar food your child already enjoy: if your child does not like the new food, you don’t have to fret that they did not get enough to eat.
For me, that means new dishes are usually served with brown rice and steamed broccoli – two items my kids already like.
#5. Remove distractions. This is an obvious one but it’s amazing how we let distractions creep into mealtimes.
TV, cell phones, iPads, toys- they do not have a place at the dinner table. It’s time for family, food and conversation. I have certainly been guilty of letting my child use the iPad over an extended dinner or peeking at my email.
Just put it all away, out of sight. Conversation is a lost art we can all work on reclaiming.
Don’t beat yourself up over getting your child to be less picky, but don’t give up. It takes time and a lot of patience. Be consistent and remind yourself that you love your children too much to let them have their way at mealtimes.
The responsibility of providing proper nutrition and establishing healthy eating habits is an important one.
As parents, we decide what is for dinner, but let your kid decide how much of it to eat. Giving a toddler some decision making power can be an effective tool.
Lastly, don’t forget to relax and enjoy your meals too, mama.
*This post contains affiliate links. Should you make a purchase after clicking on the link, NaturallyNourishedKid.com will earn a very small commission. This does not affect any product pricing for you. I recommend the food picks pictured above based on my own experience and opinion after using it for several months (I purchased mine on amazon.com).