How to Get an Extremely Picky Kid to Eat

There's usually always a thing or two kids are finicky about when it comes to eating. Some hate fruits and vegetables but love meat and bread. Some could do without milk but find eating their cereal dry just fine. When you have a picky eater it seems that nothing you conjure up matches her persnickety palette. To get your kids to eat the closest thing to a square meal, you may have to be a little ingenious, even sneaky, to get the job done.

Instructions

    • 1

      Pack their plate full of colorful, tasty, nutritious items so that one thing doesn't take the spotlight over the other. Golden glistening chicken nuggets look appetizing compared to dried-out, shriveled-up green beans. Take the time to make a meal that is equally appealing as it is nutritiously delicious.

    • 2

      Make eating time fun. Create a color chart for older kids to post a sticker next to when they complete their meal and finish eating something from every food group. Use the items of the food to make faces such as arranging chicken nuggets for a smile, two small piles of corn for the eyes and peas for a nose. Fill the food items on the plate and encourage your child to "eat away the face" by eating all of the food from each area.

    • 3

      Pass the power back to your child. Let him have his way when you see him using his pickiness as a power struggle with you. Avoid arguing or forcing him to eat things he doesn't like. Notate the items he consistently leaves behind so you can work on a plan to substitute peas with broccoli covered with reduced-fat cheese.

    • 4

      Sit down and eat with her. Try something she's trying for the first time no matter if it's a vegetable or protein. Give positive reinforcement when she digs into something new. Make noises like "yum" or say "This is good, isn't it!" to encourage her to continue eating. At the end of eating something entirely, tell her how proud of her you are and give big hugs, a high five or kisses for praise.

    • 5

      Monitor his food intake on a daily basis so his snacking doesn't overtake his meal appetite. Put him on a schedule so that he anticipates meal time. Use snacks as fillers in between meals and not as bribes to eat a meal. Develop positive association with food so there is no pecking order to encourage him to look down on one item over the other.

    • 6

      Keep trying. Continue to introduce foods he doesn't like at first a few more times and alternate with other items. Try mashed potatoes with chicken nuggets and then again with meatloaf to see if the pairing is the culprit. Give your child time to develop his own palette, knowing that over time he is likely to adjust.

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