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Changing “Yuk!” to “Yum…”  A Guide for Picky Eaters

When there is a picky eater in your house, understand that, as a parent, your job is to give healthy food to your child.  Your child’s job is to decide how much of it to eat.

These tips may help you make this challenge easier:

  • Monkey see, monkey do!  Eat a variety of healthy foods with your child.  Turn the television off and sit down together to eat.

  • Serve drinks last.  Kids with small appetites get filled up quickly.  Limit milk to two or three cups and juice to half a cup a day.

  • Limit “other” food, such as potato chips, fruit roll-ups and chocolate.

  • Avoid “grazing.”  Set snack time at least two hours before the meal.

  • Some days, kids eat very little.  Other days, they clean their plates.  It is normal for the appetite to change day to day.  Keep portions child-size.  Kids may not even try a bit if the portion looks too big.  You can always give seconds.

  • Sometimes, children want to eat the same food everyday because they find this way of eating comforting.  The less you make of it, the faster it will stop.

  • Do not beg, bribe or force your child to eat.

  • Set some rules and don’t bend.  If your child knows you won’t change the rules, he’ll come to accept them in time.

  • Decide how long the child will sit at the table.  Picky eaters will not eat more if forced to stay at the table.  Make sure that he knows there won’t be food to eat until snack time.

Kids may need to try a food 15 times before they like it.  So don’t give up… try, try, try again.