Do any of these statements remind you of your child?
"Johnny won't eat anything green, just because of the color."
"Caroline refuses to eat bananas because of the texture. She won't even touch them."
"Nick will only eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches."
If your child has picky eating behaviors, don't worry. Picky eating is common for children from the age of 2 to 5 years. Understand that it can take some time for your child to enjoy a new or different food. Despite the struggle, don't give up! And, most importantly, serve as a role model throughout the process by trying new foods yourself and keeping healthy food in the house.
Phelps Medical Group Danika Peterson, M.D., suggests the following tips to families when it comes to coping with picky eating:
- When introducing solid foods, start with soft vegetables first (cereal has little nutritional value).
- Try many different forms of the foods with kids. My children love peas that are still frozen, but aren’t as big of fans if they are cooked.
- If children do not like a food, keep offering it. It can take 15-20 times of trying foods before a child truly knows if they “like it” or not.
- Get kids involved in the cooking process! If they help cook it, they are often more motivated to eat it.
- Find creative ways to sneak fruits and vegetables into their diets. Add blueberries to the pancake mix, offer cauliflower tater tots, or bake zucchini in your muffins.
- Model good eating habits. If children see mom and dad eating healthy foods, they are more likely to eat these foods themselves.
If you have any concerns about your child's growth or eating behavior, call us at 308.995.6111 and schedule an appointment.