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12 Top Tips for Feeding Picky Eaters

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Are you having trouble feeding your fussy eaters? Read on for some pointers on how to make your job a lot simpler.

Cooking for your family every day is a difficult task. However, when your family adores and treasures the meals you prepare for them, all your efforts seem worthwhile. However, if your family has some finicky eaters, this may not be the case.

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Children, in particular, are picky eaters, which makes cooking for them a huge challenge. Unfortunately, this is the situation in practically every household these days. As a result, many experts have provided us with some tried and true methods for dealing with picky eaters.

You won’t need to see a nutritionist or a dietician anymore; simply follow the tips below.

1.  Make it a Positive Experience

Parents frequently make the mistake of forcing their children to eat. That is something you shouldn’t do. Eating should always be a pleasurable experience, not a negative one. When they’re hungry and want to eat, they’ll eat everything, including plant-based foods.

We say plant-based foods because youngsters usually refuse to eat greens. Your child will be less picky if you include greens and beans in a variety of great recipes. Some of these interesting healthy & delicious plant based recipes you can also find on The Picky Eater Blog.

2.  Limit Their Snacking

It’s not only about the food with picky eaters; it’s also about their food-related habits, the most prevalent of which is snacking.

Snacks are a favorite pastime for children. Indeed, if given the choice, they would only eat chips, cookies, chocolates, and juice all day. However, if you allow them to do so, they are unlikely to have the desire to eat complete meals or even try new foods.

This habit makes kids and adults fussy since they only want to eat what they enjoy when they are not hungry. This can lead to an unbalanced diet and to a variety of health issues in the future. Therefore, you should try to limit their munching to a minimum. Make a snack routine for your family that works for you.

3.  Don’t Disguise with Sugar

You may want to tweak a recipe but don’t turn it into a sweet confection. For example, attempting to mask the taste of zucchini bread in a cake to get your children to eat it will not help your picky eaters. You must help them develop the habit of appreciating the true flavor of the dish.

For instance, if your children detest beans in their original state, you may use them to make hummus. So, even though it’s beans, it has been converted into a delightful dip that can be served with bread, chips, and vegetables.

4.  More Than One Way

Another fantastic approach to get a picky eater to try a variety of foods is to have them try various recipes of the food they despise. For example, broccoli in its natural state does not appear delicious, and if you offered it to them that way, they will not like it.

Instead, make a creamy cheesy soup with broccoli that they will enjoy and eat without any complaints.

Another way is by roasting vegetables they don’t like. The process caramelizes the vegetables, making them more crispy and delicious to eat.

5.  No Short-Orders

When you have a family full of picky eaters, it’s sometimes easy to make something everyone wants rather than trying to encourage them to eat something they don’t enjoy.

Short-order cooking, on the other hand, must be avoided. You can’t make a bunch of different dishes only to appease finicky eaters.

You may, however, prepare some of the foods you’re already preparing separately for the pickiest eater. If your fussy eater doesn’t like stir-fry and casserole combined, serve it separately rather than making a separate meal for them.  

6. Helping Hands

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Because many food ingredients terrify picky eaters, allowing them to assist you in the kitchen is a perfect method to get them involved and help them overcome their fear. Instead of them sitting around, you and your children can spend quality time together in the kitchen.

Cooking is an art and once your kids learn to appreciate it and understand that it is enjoyable to do, they will want to try new dishes. They’ll even experiment with foods they wouldn’t normally eat just to see if they can make something new with them.

Allow them to discover their inner cooking. They will start eating things just by standing there and watching you cook.

7.  Small Steps

Encourage the fussy eaters in your family to try new foods in modest amounts at first, then gradually increase their intake. If you want them to eat spinach, for example, try bargaining with them and getting them to eat one or two leaves at a time. They will eventually work their way up to a larger serving.

Patience is key here as pressurizing somebody to do something will not result in the desired outcome.

8.  A Mixed Plate of Food

When preparing portions for picky eaters, make sure that their plate includes both foods that they enjoy and one they don’t like. This way, the plate won’t appear scary and they’ll only have to overcome one obstacle.

Soups and sauces are a great way to introduce new vegetables to their diet. Simply add a dollop of ketchup or any other sauce as a dip for the veggies. You’ll ensure that your children are getting their nutrients.

9.  Name Your Food

When something sounds a little funny, it becomes more interesting. If you give a quirky name, your fussy toddler is more likely to eat it. Something called a ‘mango tango’ is more appealing than a plain bowl of cubed mangoes.

10. Use Wooden Skewers

Everything looks a lot more fun and delicious to eat when it’s on wooden skewers. So, if your kids aren’t eating much, give this strategy a shot. Cut your chicken steaks, vegetables, or fruits into small chunks and skewer them.

If you put a little effort into decorating and presenting the food, it makes the dishes look more interesting. So if they don’t eat it the way it’s served, try to get creative.

11. Let Them Build It

Set up a sandwich or salad counter by laying out the bread slices, fillings, toppings, and various salad ingredients. Then ask the children to assemble their meals. This saves you a lot of time and allows them to eat anything they want.

Even if they don’t choose everything from the ingredients, they are more likely to try something new.

12. Be Careful With Desserts

Do not give dessert as a reward for your child eating something they don’t like. This can become a big problem with picky eaters.

Keeping dessert as the last meal makes it more desirable and can increase your picky eater’s sweet tooth. Avoid giving them dessert every day. Once or twice a week should be fine or replace them with healthier options like yogurt or fruits.  

Final Thoughts

If you’re worried about your child’s nutrition, go to your physician or consult a pediatrician. They can help you analyze and ensure that your child is getting all the nutrients they need to grow and develop.

Keep in mind that fussy eating is typically a natural stage of growth for children. Make every effort to carefully lead them along the road of good eating.

Try not to become irritated by this common child behavior. Simply provide healthy meal options and trust that your child’s appetite and eating habits will improve with time.

Good luck!


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