Picky Eaters? No Problem! Real Moms Share Their Tricks
As a mom, one of the most frustrating things you might deal with is a picky eater. You know your child needs a balanced diet, but getting them to eat anything other than their favorite chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese can feel like an impossible task. The good news is, you're not alone. Many moms have been in your shoes and have come up with some tricks that can help make mealtime a little less stressful.
In this blog post, we're sharing some of those tips and tricks, straight from real moms who have been there. By the end of this post, you'll have a whole toolkit of ideas to help your picky eater expand their palate and enjoy a wider variety of foods.
1. Get Them Involved
One of the best ways to get picky eaters to try new foods is to get them involved in the cooking process. Real mom Sarah says, "My kids are much more likely to try new foods if they've helped cook them. We make it a fun family activity where we all pitch in and chop veggies, stir pots, and taste test along the way."
Having your kids help you shop for ingredients, prepare the food, and even plate the dishes can make them feel like they have a say in what they eat. When kids have a hand in the cooking process, they're more likely to be interested in trying what they've made. Plus, it's a great way to teach them about nutrition and food preparation.
2. Make It Fun
Another way to get picky eaters to try new foods is to make it fun. Real mom Katie says, "I try to make mealtime fun by using cookie cutters to shape sandwiches or fruits. Sometimes, I even create a 'build-your-own' meal station with different toppings and ingredients. It's a great way to get my kids excited about trying new things."
You can also try making food art, using different ingredients to create fun and colorful designs on the plate. Real mom Rachel says, "I'll cut up fruits and veggies into fun shapes, like stars or hearts, and create a 'picture' on the plate. My kids love it, and they're more willing to try new things when it looks fun and interesting."
3. Offer a Variety of Foods
Sometimes picky eaters simply need to be exposed to a variety of foods. Real mom Emily says, "I try to offer my kids a variety of fruits and veggies at each meal, even if they only take a few bites. Over time, they've gotten used to seeing these foods on their plate, and they're more willing to try them."
Real mom Kristin suggests offering a variety of dips and sauces to help make new foods more appealing. "My daughter loves dipping things, so I'll offer a new food with a dipping sauce or hummus. She's more likely to try something if she can dip it in something she likes."
4. Sneak in Veggies
If your child is really resistant to veggies, try sneaking them in where you can. Real mom Laura says, "I'll puree veggies and add them to sauces or soups. My kids never even know they're there!"
You can also try adding veggies to smoothies. Real mom Melissa says, "I'll blend up spinach or kale with fruit and yogurt. It's a great way to sneak in some greens without my kids even realizing it."
5. Offer Rewards
Sometimes a little positive reinforcement can go a long way. Real mom Jennifer says, "I'll offer a small reward, like a sticker or a small toy, if my son tries a new food. It's not a bribe, but more of an incentive to try something new."
Real mom Kelly suggests offering a reward for a certain number of bites. "I'll challenge my kids to take a certain number of bites of a new food, and if they do it, they get a reward. It's a way to encourage them to at least try something new."
6. Keep Trying
Finally, it's important to remember that it can take time for picky eaters to warm up to new foods. Real mom Jessica says, "I used to get frustrated when my daughter wouldn't try new things, but I've learned to just keep offering them. Sometimes it takes a while, but eventually, she'll surprise me by trying something new."
Real mom Molly agrees, saying, "It's important to keep trying, even if your child doesn't like something at first. Taste buds change, and what they didn't like last week, they might love this week."
In conclusion, dealing with picky eaters can be a challenge, but with a little creativity and patience, you can help your child develop a more adventurous palate. Whether you involve them in the cooking process, make mealtime fun, offer a variety of foods, sneak in veggies, offer rewards, or simply keep trying, there's a trick out there that's sure to work for you and your family.
Remember, you're not alone, and there's no one "right" way to get picky eaters to try new things. Every child is different, and what works for one might not work for another. So keep experimenting, keep having fun with food, and most importantly, keep enjoying mealtime together as a family.