5 Tips for Picky Eaters

When babies first start eating solid foods, they’ll eat almost anything. So much so that with all of the vegetable eating, they lull you into a false sense of security. You think you’ve got parenting and feeding your kid healthy, nutrient dense food nailed down. Then, before you know it, you’re in the middle of Free Agency season and your kid is looking for a new team—one that serves mac and cheese with chicken nuggets 24/7.

They’re suddenly very opinionated on what they eat, and downright refusing food at times. What do you do? Our Dad Community offers what’s worked for them and their picky eaters:

  1. Don’t bribe/shame/argue. Trust us, we know that’s easier said than done sometimes. But, to avoid food guilt/issues later in life, try and steer clear of that. Instead, keep an open (positive) dialogue about food.
  2. Get them in the kitchen. Even if they’re still young, the more active kids are with helping cook/bake, the more likely they are to try different foods. Yes, it’s going to get messy, but we promise it’ll be worth it!
  3. Incorporate what they like. Whether it’s cheese, a certain meat, or something else, dads mentioned that they consciously tried (if possible) to incorporate what their child liked into each meal they made. The trick? Incorporating it in such a way that they can’t eat it separately. (One tip: one-pan meals).
  4. Make it fun. One dad said that he made trying new foods fun—cutting foods into cool shapes, using food coloring, etc. You’d be surprised at how far some cool cookie cutters will go with your kids.
  5. Reassure and encourage. Some dads shared that they try to really encourage their kids to come to the conclusion they want to try new foods on their own. One way they do that is to hype up how great foods are and how they can’t wait to eat them. It gives their kids the choice to try them when that food comes around. They’re also incredibly reassuring after the fact. There are going to be some foods they don’t like (there are definitely foods we don’t like — lima beans, obviously), and that’s okay.

If you’re currently going through this picky eating stage with your child, just know it gets better. Your kid won’t be 35 and only eating dino chicken nuggets. (Well, we’re, like, 99% sure of that…)

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