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Feeding Picky Kids


Who's to say why certain children will eat specific foods and others won't? Some base their decision on elements like appearance, consistency and texture. To a child, this frame of mind seems completely understandable. To their parents, on the other hand, a tot's unwillingness to eat certain foods makes meal preparation that much more difficult.

Picky eaters can grow out of the trait over the years, but it's not always a guarantee. Instead, their unique tastes may change to avoiding other types of food. No matter what, families need to develop a strategy to ensure these eaters are getting the nutrients they need for growth. Let's take a look at some tips parents can use for picky children:

Make meals fun

It's easy for children to feel stressed about eating, especially if they dislike specific items. To help increase curiosity for foods kids may be wary of, parents should attempt to make meals as fun as possible. The Mayo Clinic suggested cutting fruits and veggies like broccoli into fun shapes and sizes and serving foods that are brightly colored. Families can also try novelty preparations, including breakfast for dinner, to serve tots something out of the ordinary. An element of surprise can entice children to try new foods, even if they ultimately don't like them.

Save the best for last

Growing up can cause kids' appetites to be out of whack. Families should use this element to their advantage when it comes to meals, according to Most of the time, parents can specify particular foods their children enjoy consuming. By introducing new items at the beginning of the meal - when tots first sit down and are the most hungry - adults can make sure children are receiving the nutrients they need. In addition, knowing their favorite foods are still to come gives kids an incentive to finish the new tastes quickly.

"Parents should make sure meal times are consistent from day to day."

Eliminate snacks and drinks

How many ants on a log and juices are children consuming in a day? Sometimes, too frequent snacking can affect a kid's appetite, just as it would an adult's. If tots are having trouble finishing breakfast, lunch and dinner, it may be time to cut back on what else they're eating during the day. The key is consistency: keeping eating on a regular schedule. Every family is different and consumes their main meals at different times, but making sure these routines carry over from day to day will make a big difference, according to

Try the three-bite rule

Kids are quick to say what they do and don't like. These decisions are usually fast conclusions, without a lot of reasons to back them up. Even adults know it can take more than one bite to decide if a type of food is up to their tastes. To eliminate these speedy judgments, families can try to enforce the three-bite rule, according to Real Simple. This strategy asks tots to eat three spoon or forkfuls of a particular item before they can announce they don't like something. Children will quickly learn what items they like, can tolerate and won't eat at all. The three-bite rule also gives parents a more accurate look at what their kid's palate may be like moving forward.

Ask for children's help

Sometimes the reason for picky eating is kids wanting to control the situation. Once parents let in and allow tots to decide what foods they will and won't eat, the problem can get much worse. To make children feel as though they have some freedom when it comes to items they like, families can request kids' help in meal preparation, according to The New York Times. This enables tots to vocalize what they'd like to see in a meal, while adults can make sure the overall experience is balanced for both parties.

Having a picky eater in one's family can be overwhelming for parents. Moms and dads want to make sure their children are getting all the healthy foods possible to ensure growth is stable. Sometimes, kids just don't want to consume these items, and that's when adults have to get creative.

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