Kids seem to fall into food patterns quickly, establishing favorites and shunning what they don’t like for a cornucopia of reasons –– and those preferences may last for years, if not lifetimes. That’s why it’s important to set the groundwork for basic eating habits early on, implementing dietary and nutrition standards that they may pass on to their own children.
Once your child has figured out that they don’t like a certain food, however, it can be tricky to persuade them to give it another try. While being a picky eater may not be a permanent lifestyle for your children, it’s important to have a strategy just in case they do not easily revert back to being an adventurous eater.
If you’re struggling with healthy nutrition and snacks for your child, the Cary, NC medical team at Western Wake Pediatrics has put together a list of helpful tips to get your kid back into a balanced diet, full of veggies and fruit.
One bite rule. If your child boycotts almost everything on their plate, implement the one bite rule –– that is, tell them they only need to eat one bite of the offending food, be it beets, broccoli, asparagus or something else they find unfamiliar. While they probably won’t finish the rest of their serving, you’ll be building their tolerance and likeability toward that food item.
Let creativity reign with recipes and food choices. Your child is an independent person, and treating them that way may yield surprising results at the dinner table. By involving them in the meal planning process, you’re encouraging and guiding them, and allowing them to select a healthy food choice that they already love.
Raw instead of cooked. Mushy food probably doesn’t sound appealing to any of us -– and it won’t to a child either. If texture is a reason your young one is shoving food around on their plate, consider serving it raw if it’s safe to do so. Good raw food examples include zucchini sticks, carrots, peppers, cauliflower and broccoli.
Child Nutrition Guidance from the Picky Eater Experts at Western Wake Pediatrics
If you’re worried about your child’s growth patterns, or if you’d like more nutrition tips for the pickiest of toddler eaters, Western Wake Pediatrics in Cary is here to help. Call our nutrition experts today at 919-859-9991 to request a health supervision visit with a doctor to discuss healthy eating habits, as well as exercise, education and development.