Making a picky kid eat something often feels like the hardest part of preparing a meal, so here are a few ideas that worked for me.
1. Arranging the food is key. You won’t believe how appealing vegetables look when they form shapes and “tell a story”. And telling a story is important too. Hey, did you know that these carrots were brought by the rabbit named Peter? Oh, my! How interesting and delicious! Now clean the plate, you little grasshopper!
2. One bite rule. When you are introducing new food, make your child take a single bite before it rejects it. Try this 8-10 times and the more “one bites” it takes from the same food, the more familiar the food will taste, the better your chances that you win!
3. Involve the child in preparing. I know you think involving the child in the cooking process will only slow you down and create even a huge mess, but stains are not the thing you should worry about now! Kids will be a lot more willing to eat food they made. They will also learn that the food don’t just magically come in the plate – it is made by someone and it is to be eaten and respected. Now, try to be patient and don’t make them hate the process.
4. Make food colourful and appeal to their value system. Kids won’t like a dull-looking dish. They perceive the world with their imagination. Colourful food will go a long way!
5. Don’t force them – it will make them more stubborn. Give them good example and be patient. Remember they will be out of your way, hopefully, when they move to college and you won’t worry about their diet and livelihood.
Here are ideas for food arrangement and preparation.
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