are some tips for handling picky eaters
the one bite rule: It may be too much to expect your
child to eat an entire serving of a particular food. The try
one bite rule works for a lot of moms. Many foods are acquired
tastes and the more times your child tries it the more likely
he will be to like it. As a guideline, it may take trying
a new food as many as ten times before your child will like
to avoid main dishes or unusual foods that your child does
not like: Many children do not like casseroles or
foods that are mixed together. Instead of making a casserole
dish trying making the foods separately so that your child
has more choices. Avoid unusual foods that are spicy or that
your child doesn’t like. Keep in mind that many healthy
adults do not care for unusual or spicy foods.
mealtime a pleasant experience: Do not make a big
deal about your child’s food choices. Making your child
eat something he doesn’t like or forcing your child
to stay at the table till he eats his food, only leads to
more food battles. Children may remember this into adulthood
and it does not seem to be beneficial in improving what your
appropriate portion sizes: Parents are sometimes
unrealistic about how much their child should be eating. Toddlers
need about 1000 to 1300 calories a day on average. To find
out the appropriate portion size and what your child should
be eating see the USDA’s
food pyramid for kids. Be realistic about how much your
child eats and do not expect them to consistently eat the
same amounts of food. Some days your child will eat better
than other days.
a variety of food and give your child choices: Look
at what you are serving. Are your meals boring? Do you like
what you are eating? Families that are living on a limited
budget for food may not provide enough variety for their children.
It is okay for your kids to eat their favorite foods regularly
but try having several choices at mealtime for them.
your child help with shopping and cooking: Kids like
to be involved in their food decisions. Letting your child
help prepare his meals will make him more interested in
eating his creation.
a list of your child’s likes and dislikes:
Make a list of what foods your child likes and dislikes. See
if there are any patterns in what he likes or doesn’t
like. For instance, some kids may not like certain textures
or food groups like meat. Work from your list to improve his
variety. Take the foods he likes and build from there. If
he likes macaroni and cheese but doesn’t like hamburger,
try adding small amounts of hamburger to his macaroni and
cheese. If he likes bananas, try banana yogurt, or banana
bread, or banana pudding. Try to build his preferences from
what he already likes.
your meals fun for kids: Try cutting up sandwiches
in fun shapes or making the foods look more appealing to your
child. Be creative. Kids like to see fun shapes or dishes
that look fun to eat.
to be concerned
picky eating is caused by underlying health issues
or may require an evaluation from a doctor or a feeding
clinic. If your child is healthy and is growing properly
there is usually no cause for concern; however, if
your child is losing
weight or falling below the fifth percentile for weight
and/or height, there may be cause for concern.
Other things to watch for are difficulty chewing or
swallowing, vomiting after meals, excessive drooling
or gagging with meals, or if your child completely
refuses foods or liquids. If you are concerned that
your child may have a feeding disorder discuss this
with your pediatrician.