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How To Deal With Picky Eaters - Handle Kids That Are Picky Eaters


Is your child a picky eater? It can be frustrating when a child resists eating anything new. You may worry they are not getting the right nutrients when they refuse to eat veggies and want to stick to a diet of mac 'n cheese and tater tots. You may also be sick of turning every meal time into a fight.

baby holding bowl of raspberries

Is it possible to get picky kids to try new foods? Luckily, it is. By employing the right strategies, you can learn how to deal with picky eaters and even get them to eat more veggies. Read on to discover how.

Introduce New Foods Over and Over

Did you know it can take up to 15 times for a kid to start liking a new food? If you gave up on round 10, maybe it's time to rethink your strategy. Children need time to get used to new tastes and textures. They may not be reacting to the taste of the food. Instead, they reject its other characteristics.

Introduce a new food repeatedly before accepting defeat. Don't add it to every meal — that's overkill. But you can try it once a week as a side dish. Prepare it in different ways every time. For instance, if you are pushing zucchini, sauté it one night and roast it the next time.

Put New Foods Next to Your Child's Favorite Food

Proximity can help convince kids to try new things. If you put the zucchini next to the tater tots, your child will notice it right away. They may finish the tots first, but then their attention will drift to the zucchini. Encourage them to eat it in the same way if you have to — dipping zucchini in ketchup won't hurt the veggie or your child.

Respect Your Child's Eating Quirks

Your child's resistance to certain foods may drive you nuts. But yelling at them about it won't solve anything. It will just make both of you dig in. Instead, show respect for your child's non-negotiable quirks. For example, perhaps they hate having their food touch. Stop trying to serve them casseroles. They will continue to resist. Instead, give them parts of the casserole prepared individually.

Stop Trying to Negotiate

How often do you find yourself bargaining over dessert — as in, eat X bites of this main dish and you can have dessert? This may seem effective in the short term, as your child eats their dinner. But long term, you are teaching them to expect rewards, and you are not teaching them to enjoy the food you serve. Find other methods to get them to eat.

Want to find a meal the whole family can enjoy, even the picky eaters? Head to Forklift & Palate, where we have a menu your kids will love.

Learn More About Trying New Foods

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