If you have a child who is picky about what they eat, you likely have a hard time getting them to try new foods and ensure they are getting all the nutrients they need. However, there are things you can do to help your child be more open to trying new foods. Here are some tips:
- Be patient and respect your child's appetite. Pressuring a picky eater to eat a lot of food they don't like can lead to them being less willing to try new things. Instead, have them taste a small amount and let them eat as much or as little as they want.
- Use the "mix and match" method. Offer a combination of familiar and unfamiliar foods at mealtimes, but be mindful of the portion sizes. A large portion of unfamiliar food can be overwhelming, so start with small amounts and let your child get used to it. You can also make unfamiliar foods more familiar by displaying them on the dining table before adding them to your child's plate.
- Give them choices. When introducing new foods, give your child options so they feel like they have some control and are more likely to be open to trying something new.
- Be a role model. Children tend to copy what they see others doing, so be sure to set a good example by trying new foods yourself and talking about the benefits of different types of food.
- Involve them in the kitchen. Children enjoy helping out, even with small tasks. By having them help with food preparation, picky eaters can learn about different ingredients and flavors and become more curious about trying new foods.