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Home >  Information A-ZAll Kids Information Articles Picky Eaters

Dealing with Picky Eaters:

When your child is a picky eater, it can be very hard to try to make a meal that everyone in the family will love. And, since you are busy enough as it is, you probably don't want to cook two totally separate meals just to satisfy everyone's tastes. But, you also don't want to limit what everyone else gets to eat based on one person's finicky nature. There are a few ways around this that can help make things easier on you at meal time:

• Pick it out—if your child likes a certain type of meal, but doesn't like a certain type of ingredient, you can simply make part of the meal without that ingredient. For example, if your child doesn't like mushrooms, but they love spaghetti, but your husband loves mushrooms in his spaghetti, you have two options. You can make the meal without the mushrooms and spoon some out onto your child's plate then add the mushrooms, or you can make it the way you want, and have your child pick the mushrooms out of it.

• Keep easy foods that your child loves on hand—this is one of the best ways to be able to make meals that your child hates without having to cook two big meals. If your child loves pot pies, you can keep these stocked up. Then, when you are cooking a meal that your child hates, you can pop one in the oven to have it ready when the regular meal is ready. This also works well with noodles, soups, and anything you can toss in the oven or microwave with little effort.

• Don't tell your child what they are having—while this can't work with everything, it can work with many of the extras that are in meals, such as onions. Your child may hate onions, but if they don't see the onions in the food, and you don't tell them that they are there, they will often eat the food and never notice it. In fact, they may love it. If you are going to try this, there are two main points you need to be aware of:

  • Don't let your child watch you cook. If they see the ingredient being put in the food, they will notice it as they are eating. It is very difficult to feed them the food without them being aware of it, unless they don't have any idea that you might use it.
  • Don't let it be noticeable in the food. While this may sound like a big pain, it could be as simple as chopping up something a little more finely than you normally would. This, of course, won't work with all foods (such as a green bell pepper in spaghetti), but it can work with many types of foods.

• Get them to try foods—most picky eaters won't even try something that they believe they won't like. Even if you do get them to try it, they will most likely take a very tiny bite and say they hate it before it has even touched their taste buds. If this is the case, try to get your child to try it anyway. They may surprise themselves and see that it is actually something they like. This also works if you have snuck it into their food before. You can tell them that they have eaten it many times before and liked it just fine, they just didn't know it. If you do this, though, you need to realize that in the future, your child will be on the lookout for things you may have snuck into their food.

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