Do you have a picky eater at home? Is your toddler or preschooler obsessed with Teddy Grahams or sugary yogurt? Don't worry! You are not alone.
Life is so different today than it was 10, 20 or even fifty years ago! The days of mom staying home and preparing healthy nutritious food for the family are long gone for most families. Healthy fruits and vegetables have been replaced with convenient pre-packaged fruit snacks and snack crackers.
Don't worry! All is not lost! If you are trying to get your preschooler or toddler to experiment with new foods, here are a few tips that may make your experience a little easier!
1. First and foremost, never give up! It takes 8 to 10 exposures to a food for a child to accept it as a part of their diet. So if it first you don't succeed, try and try again!
2. Make it a family affair! If you want your child to start eating vegetables, do it with them! Start dinner off with a very small salad or a few florets of broccoli! Have the whole family participate ! It will become a fun family experiment.
3. Give your child choices! Take them with you to the grocery store or farmers market and let them pick out a new fruit or vegetable that they want to try! This gives them the ability to express their independence and take part in this positive change.
4. If your child is like most children, they have a sweet tooth. Try to satisfy that craving with a sliced banana and nut butter . This will curb their craving for something sweet and also give them an extra serving of protein. (Plus kids LOVE to dip! So anytime you can give them a snack that they can dip they usually go for it!)
5. Give them child size portions! If we give our children too much and expect them to eat it all, they will begin to develop an unhealthy relationship with food. And later in life, they will have a hard time leaving food on their plate. So let your child decide when they have had enough!
6. Don't make dessert a regular thing! Reserve dessert for a weekend treat! That way, they know that when they say that they are full from dinner, they will not be eating anything else that night! Eventually they will learn to eat until they are really full, and not try to pull one over on you to get out of eating their broccoli!
It can be a long and tiresome process, but it is worth it! It is very hard to change your eating habits as an adult, so by teaching your children healthy eating habits from a young age you can be saving them from a lifetime of struggling with health issues and weight problems.
We are all in this together! Need extra help? Call us!