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Mini Food Critics

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Mini Food Critics

Have a picky eater at home? This can be really frustrating but the difficult truth is that if it’s not rectified, a child’s limited diet can lead to delayed mental and physical development.

The good news is you can help! The better news is that I can give you some basic tools to get started. Here are some basic guidelines to follow when trying to get your child to eat new foods:

1- Have them try one bite of a new food everyday for 2 weeks. Just one bite every day can lead to long-term progress and break down some barriers and fears.

2- Stick to foods close in texture to favorite foods, and work your way out to more different foods. If crackers are a favorite, try whole grain crackers. If they like french fries, try sweet potato fries. Involve them in choosing the food when you can.

3- When motivating, stay neutral. Let your motivation be neither a punishment or a reward. Simply a logical consequence as a result of the child’s choices.

~“When you finish your bite of____, we/you can do ____”.

~“If you eat your bite of squash there will be time to go out and play. If you waste your play time being upset, there will be no time to play.”

4- Don’t panic. Children will mimic what they see, so if you freak out they freak out. If they freak out, don’t react. They should eventually calm down. Then you can proceed. Don’t use a pleading tone, or one too firm or authoritative. Calm and steady. Remind them of their past successes with a new food.

5- Don’t Hover. Life shouldn’t revolve around your child and taking a bite of this food. Pay bills, make a call, just don’t hover and make this the center of attention. Occasionally it’s okay to check in and say that (the consequence activity) is waiting whenever they are ready to take that bite (ex: going to the park or turning the computer on).

6- Remember- if they are acting bad, they probably feel bad. Be patient and positive.

Use these tools to get started and see how far you can get. It’s not always easy but it’s always important.

If serious eating disorder persists please call your physician and local registered dietitian. 

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