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Dealing with Picky Eaters

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knoxvilleAshley Georgakopoulos is a Nutrition Educator and blogger over at The Real Housewives of Knoxville. Recently she posted this article, that outlines a great practical guide to helping your picky eater explore healthier, and ultimately tastier food.

Ashley was kind enough to include YummyShapes on her list of “do’s” so the least we can do is share some of her excellent tips (excerpted below). Head over to The Real Housewives of Knoxville blog to read the full article.

Dos And Don’ts for Picky Eaters:

Avoid:

  • T.V., phones, computers, other electronics during meals- these are distracting, and mealtime should be a time to unplug and reconnect with family
  • Using supplemental drinks- Commercials play on this common “problem” parents have to market their product. Drinks such as Pediasure and Carnation Instant breakfast are meant for more severe deficiencies and underweight/failure-to-thrive cases, and should not be used to replace food in the case of picky-eating. *I see this a lot, and it becomes more of a crutch than a temporary replacement for foods avoided.
  • Being a “short-order cook”- kids learn really early what you will/won’t do, and will use this to their benefit (they’re smarter than you think), so don’t make a whole other meal because they didn’t like the first one
  • Letting them know YOU don’t like a certain food- allow kids to try a new food without bias or preconceived notions based on the fact you don’t like something, as kids LOVE to mimic…

Do:

  • Set regular times for meals/snacks- kids like routine/stability!
  • Praise good behavior/willingness to try the foods offered- instead of catering to “bad” behavior
  • Offer variety in the foods offered (i.e. more than 1 vegetable)
  • Have child help you pick a new vegetable (or whatever they’re picky with) to try- the moral of the story is that the child likes to feel like they have a little say-so or control
  • Let them help (age-appropriately) in the kitchen- see previous; children are more willing to try foods they helped make!
  • Expect them to sit with the rest of family
  • Offer raw fruits/vegetables if they do not like them cooked (its O.K.!)

and finally:

  • Check out YummyShapes for a new way to make veggies fun!!!

Thanks for the shout-out, Ashley. We’re pleased to join you in the cause of healthier families! -YummyShapes

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