Picky Eater Project

Looking for some simple ways to get your kids on board the healthy eating train?

Check out my top 10 tips how to get your kids in the kitchen and excited about eating more fruits and veggies.

1. Pack your meals with a nutritional punch
Adding in shredded carrots, zucchini, chopped bell peppers or spinach to our meals will bump up the veggie goodness without having to chomp on salads all day long.

2. Get your kids involved
Take your kids grocery shopping or even better to your local farmers market. Have them pick out one veggie and let them help prep it. Chop, saute, shred, depending on the age of your little one. Most kids love helping mom and dad and gets them interacting with the food. Really include her in the process and she’ll gain a respect for the food and learning how to cook – which to me, is one of the most important life skills you can teach your kiddo.

3. Don’t make separate meals
Feel like a short order cook? Catering to picky eaters is not only inconvenient (for the cook!) but also sends children the wrong message – that everything should go their way if they don’t like something. Instead, try keeping mealtime a breeze for everyone and only make one meal that includes at least one nutritious thing he or she likes but that everyone else will enjoy as well.

4. One, two or three bite rule
You can alter the number to whatever works for you and your family. We have personally gotten away from the one bite rule as most kids will take the smallest bite ever just to say they did it. But do what is best for you and start increasing as the kids get older.

5. Set a good example
If you’re eating unhealthy foods, she’s going to naturally want to do the same, as parents are their child’s best influencer. So, be sure you’re setting a good example for your little ones and follow your own rules of eating healthy.

6. Be consistent
Just because a child doesn’t like broccoli today doesn’t mean she’ll never like it. My oldest loved bananas until one day he told me they tasted disgusting. I would regularly offer them to him and he’d politely refuse. One random day, I offered him a banana and he ate it. He’s been eating them ever since. Go figure. So, try to be consistent and see what happens.

7. Stay positive
No one wants stress at the dinner table. Try to make things fun and keep things light for the kids. Fighting, arguing or negativity towards food will make a huge impact on kids later on down the road. At the end of the day, it’s all about enjoying meal time and each other’s company so try not to take things too seriously.

8. Don’t force them to finish what’s on their plate
Little tummies don’t need as much food as we sometimes think. Teach your children to be mindful of their bodies and pay attention to them. Don’t let them fool you

9. Turn their faves into healthier versions
I like making my homemade versions of things like pizzas, pastas, macaroni and cheese, etc. but I make sure they’re packed with veggies and some protein. This is a win-win because they feel like they’re getting what they want and I feel good about serving it to them because I know what’s in it.

10. Make it fun
Our favorite thing to do in the kitchen is have dance parties. We’ve been doing it since my oldest was just a few months old. I had this janky old radio that barely worked and I would grab him and just sing and dance. He still remembers that and asks me to hold him like a baby and dance and sing with him. So, have some fun in the kitchen. Be playful. Name food or certain veggies like green hulk or green machine to get her to be more engaged with it. If she helps make pancakes in the morning, be patient with her. If she spills, so what?! Let her make mistakes and have some fun with you.

Persistence not perfection!

Try some of these out and see what works for you and your family. What works for one might not work for another. So get out there and go have some fun. Your kids will thank you.

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©2019 Shauna Bryant | Rockin' Mom's Kitchen All Rights Reserved
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