Do you have a picky eater?
If you do, you are absolutely not alone! My kids have been picky eaters too but I feel like we are coming out the other side now, thankfully!
So what’s worked for us? Below I have outlined my top 10 tips to increase the number of accepted foods your child will happily eat.
To start with I suggest introducing new foods one at a time. Keep the serve size very small to begin with and pair the new food with an already accepted food or meal.
Encourage a taste but don’t force them to eat it or make a big deal if they don’t. Keep encouraging a taste over time. It’s important to avoid food battles, that’s something us as parents just won’t win!
Explain why the food is good for them in a way that is relevant to them eg. it can help make you run fast, jump high, etc.
Make it fun! Present the food with a fun utensil or cut into different shapes.
Get them involved – can they help prepare it in anyway?
Role model eating it – include it on your plate and make sure they see you eating and enjoying it.
Offer it in different forms – raw, cooked, hot, cold to find the one they like best.
Try to find out what it is about the food that they do not like. My daughter refused cucumber for a long time. I eventually found out that it was the texture of the seeds she didn't like. So I starting cutting the seeds out and she would eat it. I've now over time gradually introduced the seeds back in.
Start slow with small gradual swaps. Instead of a big change overnight, make the change slow and gradual. With bread for example; instead of going from white bread to wholegrain overnight - start by replacing one slice of the sandwich with wholemeal bread then over time the two slices then one wholegrain and then the other. Acceptance of change takes time.
Keep presenting and don’t give up. The more familiar they become with a food the more likely they are to eat it.
If you have a picky eater it’s important to know that you’re not alone, it's very normal and they will get better over time. Just be consistent and positive and you will eventually get there.