Is your child stuck on eating the same three things? Children can be scared to venture out of their comfort zone especially when it comes to food. Picky eaters are going through a normal developmental stage, exerting control over their environment and expressing concern about trusting the unfamiliar. Many picky eaters also prefer a “separate compartmented plate,” where one type of food doesn’t touch another. Just like with many adults, change for children is hard. It will usually take between 8 – 10 presentations of the new food before they will accept it. But there are many things we can do to help our children try new foods rather then insisting or forcing them to eat it (which will usually discourage them in the long run). Try these easy tips from our friends at HelpGuide.org to get your children trying new foods.
- Offer a new food only when your child is hungry and rested.
- Present only one new food at a time.
- Make it fun: present the food as a game, a play-filled experience. Or cut the food into unusual shapes.
- Serve new foods with favorite foods to increase acceptance.
- Eat the new food yourself; children love to imitate.
- Have your child help to prepare foods. Often they will be more willing to try something when they helped to make it.
- Limit beverages. Picky eaters often fill up on liquids instead.
- Limit snacks to two per day.