Does your child pick around his or her plate at dinner time?
Is your child leaving veggies and fruits untouched?
Are you worried that your child may lack the daily recommended amount of nutrients?
Don’t worry! According to the Mayo Clinic, “most kids get plenty of variety and nutrition in their diets over the course of a week.” Typically, picky eaters are common among 2-5 year-olds, and outgrow the pickiness once they get to a certain age.
However, there are many things you can do for dinner that will help introduce healthy and nutritious food into your child’s diet. According to the Mayo Clinic, parents can take a few simple steps, including:
- Respect your child’s appetite.
- Stick to a routine of serving meals and snacks around the same time every day.
- Be patient with new foods. Repeated exposure to a new food is usually a requirement.
- Make it fun! Serve favorite dips or sauces with veggies.
- Recruit your child’s help for selecting groceries at the store.
- Set a good example. If you eat your veggies, your child is likely to follow your example.
- Be creative! Add veggies in soups or sauces, or add sliced fruit in cereal.
- Minimize distractions at dinner by turning off all electronic devices.
- Don’t offer dessert as a reward. Withholding dessert sends the message that the dessert is the best food, which might only increase your child's desire for sweets.
- Don’t be a short-order cook. Preparing a separate meal for your child after he or she rejects the original meal might promote picky eating. Encourage your child to stay at the table for the designated mealtime — even if he or she doesn't eat.
Have you found other ways that get your child to be less fussy at dinner time? If you have any techniques, please share it with us below in the comments! At Little Angels Preschool & Daycare Ypsilanti, we’re dedicated to our students’ health and well-being.