Not sure how to deal with your picky eater? We feel your pain! But feeding your kiddos does not have to be a frustrating chore. Or cause you undo worry. We want to give you a playbook to get more nutritious veggies into your little ones diet without them knowing the better!
1. Have fun and stay postitive.
Photo credit: mealtimemovement.com
Talk to your toddler about what's on their plate. What is it (fruit, veggie, etc)? Where did it come from? What does it smell like? Feel like? Point out the color, texture, etc. Let them touch, feel and smell, even if things get a bit messy!
2. Let Them Help.
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Kids absolutely love to help in the kitchen. Letting them assist you with preparing a meal will make them feel more connected to it. Here's a fun article on ideas to get you started! How cool is this Kid-Friendly Salad in a Mason Jar?
3. Prepare it in a different way.
Photo credit: Kathy Sima, wehavekids.com
We've read it can take up to 10 times for a toddler to actually try (and like) a food, so don't give up! If your sweet little girl made a terrible face at cooked carrots, try them raw or cut into coin shapes. We love this post by Kathy Sima, a mom who writes about getting your kids to eat more veggies and some ideas for switching them up!
4. Start Small.
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Remember, your tot is little. They have tiny hands. Cut food into toddler-sized bites and don't put too much on their plate. Here are some great combinations of foods that give a terrific visual idea of portion sizes. Even 2 or 3 "bites" of something new is enough.
5. Don't Push It.
If your tot isn't hungry or didn't like that bite of broccolli, there's no need to stress or push...just be encouraging. Present your little one with a variety of healthy options and let them choose what they want to try. Lead by example and eat those same healthy foods.
6. Outdoors, Anyone?
There's nothing like a change of scenery to change the minds of some finicky toddlers. Take the meal outdoors, weather permitting. Bring out a colorful blanket and make a picnic spread for the whole family. After a little running around in the afternoon sunshine, your tot may be more apt to gobble down that homemade hummus!
7. Keep a Regular Schedule.
Keep a daily schedule so your child begins to understand that food is available at certain times of the day...not on demand.
8. Keep on Keepin' On.
Photo credit: superhealthykids.com
Keep on trying, no matter what the results are. This sounds so simple, but in reality, it can be difficult. If your tot likes to be around other kids, get together with parents and kids for a meal- your child may be more likely to experiment with tasting something they never have before with their peers around!
9. Serve Like with Like.
Photo credit: eatsamazing.co.uk
If you know your child loves honeydew, cut up some cantilope and serve it next to the honeydew. Try similar textures, colors, tastes together based on foods you already know your child enjoys. It's worth a try!
10. Be Creative!
Photo credit: superhealthykids.com
Kids love to dip, so let them! Ranch, ketchup, hummus, cheese sauce, you name it. Let them have fun, even if it's messy and even if it doesn't make sense in your adult brain to dip a carrot in ketchup! Cut sandwiches into shapes, or animals. Use brightly colored plates and cups. Make it fun and creative, and you will find yourself smiling too!
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