Make mealtimes pleasant
Besides looking for food ideas for picky eaters, making mealtimes pleasant is also crucial.
My preschooler is a picky eater, should I “ground” them and not give them dinner? Remember that some strict rules may affect your child’s appetite, so besides exerting a certain level of control over what they eat, the rest is up to them. Here are some valuable tips:
- Don’t “force” your preschooler to eat something he or she doesn’t like. Experts say this raises tension during mealtimes and makes dining unpleasant.
- Instead, consider setting an “agreement” with your child. Ask them to have at least one bite of the foods you offer them. In most cases, 1 tablespoon of new food is enough for them.
- Don’t force them to “clean” their plate. Generally, preschoolers need smaller portions; that’s why they often feel full quickly.
Stock up on food ideas for picky eaters
If your preschooler is a picky eater, it’s even more important for you to get creative with food ideas. Here are some useful tips:
- Use various herbs and spices to make foods tastier.
- Prepare or rearrange foods in colorful objects, shapes, or characters that they can recognize.
- Take advantage of finger foods. Children especially like foods with dips.
- Does your child love peanut butter? If so, allow them to spread it on various fruits.
- “Hiding” foods in plain sight still works. Don’t they like broccoli? Try to chop the vegetable and mix it in spaghetti sauce.
Encourage your preschooler to explore
And finally, if your preschooler is a picky eater, encouraging them to explore their food options will be helpful.
Bring them with you to the grocery store and let them see a variety of fruits and vegetables. Ask them what they’d like to eat.
Have them help you cook and prepare meals; let them handle the foods you want them to try.
My preschooler is a picky eater, what can I do? Picky eating, according to experts, is often “developmentally normal,” especially for kids aged 2 to 4. With your help, encouragement, and creativity, they can outgrow this phase.
Learn more about Parenting a Preschooler here.