4 Tips for getting picky eaters to eat
1. Try the Food Scientist Approach
“One approach we’ve taken with kids who seem to have a more significant problem trying new foods is what we call the Food Scientist approach. I recommend you try this outside of a meal time. I usually have kids do this with a food they like and a new food that we want them to try. We take a new food we want a child to try and ask them to describe the food based on the 5 senses, for example, what does it smell like? (ex. a big smell or a little smell, does it have a strong scent or no scent), what does it look like? (ex. color, shape); what does it feel like? (ex. fuzzy, smooth, bumpy, wet, dry, hard, squishy); what does it sound like? (ex. quiet or loud, is it crunchy when you bite it); what does it taste like? (ex. use terms they can understand like sweet, salty, etc). “
2. New Foods On Their Plate
“Kids need to see foods many times before they may be willing to take a bite. I recommend offering a few bites of non-preferred or new foods on their plate at meals. They don’t need to take a bite, it just needs to stay on their plate.”
3. Play With Food
“There are many steps to being willing to take a bite and swallow food. Encourage your kids to play with their foods, smell their food, and kiss or lick their food. Practice using your food to brush your teeth or see if they can hold it with just their lips! Encourage kids to play with their food, but don’t force the issue. This should be fun!”
4. Switch It Up!
“It’s also important with younger kids to alternate the foods offered, so they don’t eat exactly the same thing every day. Only offer the same foods every other day. You can make small changes to their preferred foods, such as changing the shape (try different shapes of pasta, cut out a sandwich with a cookie cutter), adding a little bit of a different flavor (add a little seasoning, sprinkle on parmesan cheese), or even changing the color.”
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