This episode 76 is about dealing with picky eaters. We had the pleasure of being joined by Jason’s son Kasen who sat in on the episode to provide his input on the topic. The episode was inspired by this parents.com article. While I thought simply ‘starving’ the child for a meal or two will get them to eat, experts say this is not a good idea. Simply being hungry won’t make a kid overcome his fears about eating foods he doesn’t like, and his anxiety can make him feel even less hungry, says Nancy Zucker, Ph.D., director of the Duke Eating Disorders Center.
Here are 19 Tips to Deal With Picky Eaters
1) Respect your child’s lack of appetite (don’t force, don’t bribe)
2) Make food less scary – go in steps, look at it, smell it
3) Provide small portions
4) Explore foods without eating – Talk about foods, learn about food, let them explore
5) You plan the menu – pair things they like with new things
6) Stick to schedule – The best you can – make mealtime and snacks regular times (juice, milk, and snacks will make meals less appealing)
Cut back on snacking
7) Talk about the food’s color, shape, or smell. Don’t talk about the taste
8) Make it fun – cut food into shapes, bright colors, breakfast for dinner, dinner for breakfast, etc. Change the presentation
9) Don’t push too hard – don’t make mealtime stressful
10) Have your child help select healthy foods like fruits and vegetables
11) Have them help with the cooking
12) Add instead of replacing – pasta with butter, add a few noodles with red sauce
13) Eat good foods yourself – monkey see, monkey do
14) Be creative – Deceptively Delicious (Jessica Seinfeld)
15) Keep focused – no tv, electronics
16) Dessert is not a reward – don’t withhold or reward with dessert. Make it one or two nights a week
17) Don’t be a short order cook. There is one meal for the family.
18) Think long term – Good food before bad. Talk about habits. Doesn’t change overnight. Be patient and consistent to provide them healthy eating habits.
19) Get professional help