The Top Tips on Feeding New Foods to Picky Tots
Convincing a picky eater to try a new food can be frustrating to say the least. Unfortunately, it's not the sort of crusade that you can abandon. No one should go through life eating only dinosaur chicken nuggets and the occasional cookie. For a picky toddler the problem is comprised of several different elements making it difficult to solve in a quick skirmish. Instead, getting a picky eater to try new foods is like fighting a war against a singularly cranky banality of diet.
It can be done, but boy do you get tired of it all. Here are some tips that might help you out in planning your next battle. Remember, that as long as you continue to fight the good fight for truth, justice, and a variety of healthy dietary options, your toddler will eventually grow into a more open minded adult.
Solving the Picky, Tricky Problem
Bear with your child through the age of picky eating. He or she is just beginning to exert some control over his or her universe and it's a big, intimidating world out there. Now that your toddler can eat solid foods there's taste, texture, color, and smell to consider during mealtimes. That can be a little daunting once you realize that the new stuff just keeps on coming. You toddler may be saying no simply because he or she can or your toddler might be clinging to the safety of routine by refusing to give up the mac and cheese.
Either way, don't try to force your toddler away from their favorite foods. Those will change soon enough. Instead, respect the newfound powers of your child and offer them some choices. Make at least one option available from the playbook of favored foods, but then feel free to change your other food offerings up a little.
Ask your child to help you when you are preparing his or her food. Either in the kitchen or in the vegetable garden, it helps when you have a hand in making your own food. This will give your child a reason to try new things. Another tactic might be to serve contested foods to your child's guests. If another child approves the offerings, your child is more likely to reconsider his or her dislike. Everyone knows there is safety in numbers. You can play that game too, by the way. If you like something, make sure your toddler knows about it.
Practice a Little Deception
If your child rejects a food out of hand, then look for new ways to introduce it to them. Find a way to recapture the magic of first impressions by renaming your food to fit your child's standards. If they like apples but reject pears, then call them lumpy apples. Or maybe your child hates a broccoli, but loves the idea of eating little trees like dinosaurs and giraffes. You can also mix similar foods together to introduce something on the coattails of an accepted option. Find a set of strategies that work for you and don't look back.
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