How to Deal with a Picky Eater

Picky eaters are everywhere. Parents plead, beg, and bribe, but sometimes their children still won’t eat. Here’s a tip: kids are much more likely to eat new and healthy foods if they are involved in the process somehow.

One idea is to have your kids help you shop for the raw ingredients.

  • Pointing out the colors and origins of your produce is a good way to stimulate interest in eating fruits and veggies.
  • For example, point out the pretty purple of the grapes, and read where they were imported from. “Argentina? Wow, that’s in South America. Did you know that their seasons are opposite ours?” or some other fact makes the kids more curious about the food they eat.
  • If you only buy local, talk to the kids about the local farmers, and consider taking a trip to visit the farms.

Another way to involve your children is by having them cook with you. Depending on the age of the children, they can:

  • Crack eggs
  • Mix batters
  • Knead dough
  • Cut fruits or vegetables (possibly with a plastic knife, if metal is not age-appropriate)
  • Stir sauces
  • Peel vegetables
  • Platter foods creatively (as I child, I always took pride in how “elegant” my plattered dishes looked, and was eager to point out my craftsmanship to other people at the meal)

The more ways you can include your children in meal preparation, the better. Get your children involved in the process of buying, making, or arranging food, and you may find that they feel a sense of pride and ownership over the meal. This makes them less reluctant to taste new foods—it’s already familiar by the time it gets to the table!

(Added bonus? You may have a budding chef on your hands! Bon Appétit!)

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