We hope you and your family enjoyed this month’s family night! Here are some more ideas for dealing with those picky eaters at your table:
New Foods Sticker Chart
If your child is motivated by stickers, this printable sticker chart could be a fun way to encourage your kiddo to try new foods. They could even use the sticker that comes on fruits and vegetables.
Age Appropriate Kitchen Activities
Being involved in the process of buying food and helping with meals can make children feel more invested in the food being served and more likely to try it. The USDA has lots of information on their website about the health and nutritional needs of children. Here are lots of ideas to keep kiddos of various ages busy in the kitchen.
Talk specifically about how food is good for us
Many children have a vague idea that food (especially fruits and vegetables) help them grow, but being more specific can get them more interested. “Did you know that carrots have vitamin A in them and that gives us healthy, strong eyes?” “Broccoli has lots of fiber in it! Fiber helps our tummies work well and makes our blood healthy!”
Use kid pop culture
Make Paw Patrol and Disney work for you. Everyone wants to be like their heroes. “Oh man, the Hulk is so strong! He has to eat a lot of vegetables to be big and strong like that!” “What do you think the Flash eats to be so fast?”
In our meals and snacks here at the Midway, we get celery from our caterer in two ways: sticks and “smiles”. The smiles are celery stalks chopped width-wise, resulting in small curved “smile” shapes. The kids are way more likely to try the celery smiles as opposed to the more intimidating stalks. Try cutting foods in different ways or serving them in different ways. You child might not like a baked sweet potato, but maybe they would like sweet potato fries. Or mashed sweet potatoes. Or maybe sweet potato quesadillas. And keep in mind that pretty much any vegetable tastes better when it’s been roasted.
Read books about food and picky eating with your child
There are tons of books on picky eating out there (An Alligator Class favorite is I Will Never, Not Ever, Eat at Tomato). Kids can relate to characters in stories and might even be inspired to follow in their footsteps. Here is a list of some other books that you and your child might enjoy.