Dealing with a picky eater? Us too! After a LOT of research and a LOT of trial and error, here are tips and tricks to help with fussy eaters!
Thank you to Ralph's for partnering with us to discuss tips for picky eaters.
Picky eater? My toddler is one of the WORST. I swear, there are about three foods she would eat forever if we'd allow her (and they are all made of cheese). After receiving a LOT of advice from Lydia's teachers, many parents of older children, and our pediatrician……we tried just about everything to get Lydia to turn into a hearty eater. Today I'm sharing our conclusions…..what worked with my picky eater and what didn't help AT ALL!
Routine, Routine, Routine
Children function best when they can anticipate things, meals included. Try to stick with snacks and meals at the same time every day. And in between? Water. Picky kids (like mine) will fill up on small snacks or milk (which she loves)…..and then NOT eat at mealtime.
Food Self Selection
We all want input into our meals, right? Allow your child to help pick food while grocery shopping. Let them touch the produce and select items. When meal planning, ask for their input. At home, recruit them to help with meal prep.
Offer New Foods Multiple Times
At a recent presentation I attended, I heard a pediatrician and a dietician both mention that children often need to be exposed to a new food ten times before they “like” it. Offer a new food multiple times, prepared multiple ways. Don't force feed, just present. As the doctor explained, “It's your job to prepare the food, it's your child's job to eat it.”
Mealtime Should Not be Battletime
My toddler not eating drives me NUTS. It also causes a lot of anxiety. However, me battling her? It doesn't do a thing (trust me, I've tried). After a few tear filled meals, we decided to let it go. If she choses not to eat, or not to eat much……we can't force her. We can model great eating habits, make meal time fun, and offer healthy and delicious food.
This is NOT a Restaurant
I guarantee if I cooked macaroni and cheese every night, Lydia would eat it. However, I feel like it send the wrong message to cook whatever she requests every single time. Do I serve her favorites? Absolutely. Do I make multiple meals to convince her to eat something? Absolutely not. If she doesn't want to eat, she sits with us until dinner is done.
Smoothies and “Milk Shakes”
Lydia LOVESSSSSSS milkshakes and smoothies. So one of our solutions to make sure she's getting enough calories on especially picky days? I've recently started using Ralph's Comforts for Baby Pediatric Shakes blended with fruit…..and she loves them. They're packed with vitamins, taste amazing, plus give my picky eater the calories she needs. (The line also has yogurt bites that we love as on the go snacks and fruit crisps that taste AMAZING).
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