Do you have a picky eater? Are you exhausted with the daily meal time battles? Are your kids snacking around the clock?
I hear you and I was there once too! It was exhausting and 1 person usually ended up crying sometime during dinner, usually me! I now have a 9 and 11 year old, who are both adventurous, curious eaters. We were able to power through the normal picky eating stage and come out on the other side. I’d love to help you do the same.
Here are my top 5 tips to end picky eating!
- Remind yourself, that your job, as a parent, is to decide what to serve and where to serve it. Your child’s job is to decide if they are going to eat it and how much they are going to eat. It is important to remember we each have an important job. When we try to over step and make our kids eat their dinner or “just take 1 more bite,” it puts pressure on our kids and can often backfire. One thing, I like ask myself is “Do I want someone telling me to take 1 more bite?”
- Refrain from using the word “picky eater” within earshot of your child. This label becomes their identity and limits their growth mindset around food. I have heard over and over again, kids calling themselves “picky eaters” or telling me “They are picky so they don’t like veggies.” This label creates a fixed mindset instead of allowing a growth mindset. I like to use the phrase, “We are all still learning to like different foods.” It communicates that it’s okay not to love everything immediately and encourages an exploratory attitude toward food. Let your child know that our taste buds are always changing. Even if we don’t like broccoli “YET,” it is important to keep trying. There are so many different ways to enjoy broccoli: roasted, steamed, raw with ranch, or sprinkled on pizza. Tell them, “We just haven’t found the way you like broccoli YET, and that’s okay!”
- Serve veggies first. Serving veggies first, when they’re most hungry is key, as they are often more willing to try new foods. Try serving a small plate of veggie sticks with their favorite dip or a mini salad. The “salad” can just be lettuce if that is all they like or cut up cucumbers. It is creating the idea that they like salad that counts. For more tips, check out “How to Start Raising a Salad Lover Today.”
- Make sure they are coming to the table hungry. Making sure kids arrive at the table hunger can increase their willingness to try new foods. When they’re genuinely hungry, they might be more open to tasting something they wouldn’t usually consider and food always tastes better when we are truly hungry. I suggest limiting snacking 2 hours prior to a meal, if possible. For example if they have an after school snack at 3:30, I recommend serving dinner around 5:30, allowing for kids to build up an appetite.
- Use our Taste-O-Meter to make trying new foods fun! My favorite mantra is “Keep the adventure high and the pressure low.” Instead of asking your child to take a bite, ask them, “What do you rate it?” This simple shift in language is powerful and can make a huge difference. You can download the Taste-O-Meter for FREE at Misa’s Clean Kitchen. I encourage you to print it out and keep it on your fridge as a reminder to make trying new foods fun. If you give this a try, I’d love to hear from you. The Taste-O-Meter is definitely a great tool to add to your parenting toolbox.
If you are ready to make changes in the new year and want support, I’d be honored to help you make small, simple, sustainable change that can make a big impact. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a FREE 20 minute discovery call! Cheers to you and your family’s health in the new year!