10 tricky ways to deal with a picky eater
A bestselling food author shares simple and effective ways to get picky eaters to eat 'real food'
Don’t give up on your little picky eater. Patience is key. Getting them to fall in love with real food that’s good for them may be an uphill climb but it’s a journey worth taking!
Blogger and best-selling author of 100 Days of Real Food Lisa Leake has some insightful (and totally practical) solutions to get your picky eater to actually enjoy food that’s good for them.
1. Make Small ‘Switches’
Instead of using processed ingredients, go for healthier ones. Lisa suggest trying Whole-Wheat Macaroni and Cheese, Whole-Wheat banana pancakes and Whole-wheat Pizza.
2. Give them a good first impression
If you want them to like food that’s good for them, you have to make sure to introduce them well. For instance, deep fry sweet potatoes to turn them into french fries. Or, you can drizzle steamed fish with butter sauce!
They’ll be much more receptive to give food that next time it’s served, regardless of how it’s prepared.
3. Let them choose ingredients
Giving them the power to pick fruits and vegetables at the supermarket is one way to get a picky eater to eat healthier.
Or you can teach them to grow some produce such as tomatoes in your backyard!
4. Bribe them
Lisa suggests tiny bribes here and there to get picky eaters to eat right. It’s not always about junk food and sweets, though. For instance, kids who love cheese sticks can be promised their very own platter if they finish their veggies.
5. Come clean about “veggie-hiding”
If you’re a stealthy parent who’s managed to succeed in hiding vegetables in your kid’s meals, you should also know that it’s important to let your kids know about it.
This helps teach them that the vegetables they dread aren’t so bad after all! Coming clean about your “ninja” skills may even save you the trouble of hiding veggies in the future.
6. Involve them in cooking
Teach them how to be hands-on when choosing recipes and preparing their food. This makes a good experience. And it’s 100% guaranteed that a kid would be willing to try just about anything if they helped prepare it.
7. The “one-bite rule”
If they refuse to try a new food, tell them to just take one bite and then they can wash it down with a drink they like. Don’t get them into the habit of spitting food out. Who knows? You might just get them to take more bites eventually.
8. Don’t pressure or upset them
Achieve that balance of encouraging them without pushing them too hard. Pressuring them instils negative feelings about mealtime.
9. Introduce new food one at a time
Don’t add new food all at once. Ease them into these by pairing each new food with other real food that you know they already enjoy.
10. Manage your expectations
Don’t believe for a second that turning your kids and entire family into lovers of healthy, real food is easy. Be willing to make the effort because switching to wholesome meals takes a whole lot of effort.
With patience and perseverance, you’ll be able to see the fruits of your labor. Seeing your family happier and healthier will prove that it’s all worth it in the long run!