Most parents deal with a picky eater at some point. So, how do you get your kid to eat healthy? A little bit of patience and these five tips:
If your child refuses to eat dinner, do not turn it into a war. Eventually, he or she will become aware that he is hungry. Offer them the same plate of food from dinner and give him the option of eating or going to bed hungry — and be prepared to stand by it. It will only take a handful of times of going to bed hungry before he or she starts to choose the first option.
Offer food, not fillers
Do not substitute snacks or fillers like rice, milk or cereal for meals. Children are smart and they learn that if they wait long enough, they will eventually get cookies if they do not like what is on their plate. It is OK to hide finely chopped veggies in foods, ground meats, soups and sauces, but you also want to expose them to healthy eating habits.
Focus on quality, not quantity
If you do have a very picky eater who only eats small amounts at a time, then you want to be sure that what you are putting in their body counts. Chocolate cake and ice cream can fill a tummy, but they do not provide the right nutrients.
Set an example
If your child sees you eating healthy foods, then he or she is more likely to do the same. Keep healthy snacks around the home. Dipping apples with peanut butter, covering broccoli with cheese, or mixing raisins with their favorite dry cereal is a better option than junk food.
Involve your child in the meal-prepping process. It may be a little messy, but worth it. Turn off the television and put away all other distractions. Use this time to set an example for healthy eating habits and enjoy time together as a family.