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Picky Eaters

In a perfect world, our children’s plates would be a beautiful mix of fresh veggies, fruit, protein, and grains.  Kids would opt for a shiny apple rather than a bag of fruit snacks.  Sugar would be non-existent in their diets, and you would never have to give them a vitamin.  BUT…let’s face the facts, in the real world, we pray that our children actually look a vegetable without grimacing in disgust, and maybe eat a piece of unprocessed fruit once in a while.  Chicken nuggets count as protein…right? Well, if you have a picky eater, like most families do, it can make dinnertime SUPER stressful.  But, HKRS to the rescue! Here are some tips to make even the pickiest eaters open up to trying new foods!

Introduce foods slowly.  Don’t think that giving your child Vietnamese Pho, spring rolls, and sushi at once is going to fly.  Try to intro one small new food at a time, while paring it with some classics that you know they will enjoy.

Build on your successes.  If your child will only eat chicken, try varieties of chicken.  If your kid only eats noodles, try a variety of sauces and sneak in some veggies!

Reward your child for trying a new item, but NOT with food. Give them a pat on the back for trying something new, but don’t double up on dinner by rewarding them with the foods that they habitually fall back on.

Repeat, repeat, repeat! It can take up to 5 tries for a child to actually eat a new food.  Put the veggies and fruit on the side, no matter if they eat them or not.  Physically seeing the same food over and over will help to decrease apprehension and make trying something new much less of a big deal.

Set a good example.  What does your diet look like? Do you eat fruits and veggies in front of the kids? No? Then you can’t expect your child to do so! Make sure that you are making good choices and setting a precedent!