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By Terri Mendoza & Raychel Adreani

twitter_girl-in-yellowDoes your child stick to a few favorite foods and refuse to try anything new?   Like many parents, you may be dealing with picky eating.  We know it can be frustrating and challenging, and you probably worry that your child is not eating enough healthy foods.  Helping your child enjoy a wider variety of foods now can help keep her healthy and can encourage lifelong good eating habits. Here are some parent-tested tips for introducing new foods:

  • Introduce a new food with a familiar one. For example, mac and cheese with chopped spinach.
  • Invite your child to help you in the kitchen: Ask him to help rinse the vegetables or toss the salad.
  • Take it one step at a time: First they can just look at the food, then touch and smell it, and eventually taste it!
  • Take your child to the grocery store or farmers’ market: Have her pick a new vegetable or fruit to try.
  • Add a little fun to their food: Mealtimes can be happier if you talk about Broccoli Trees or Squishy Squash!
  • Try “Make Your Own” meals or snacks: Put out a variety of cheeses and sliced veggies and have everyone create their own tacos or mini pizzas. Choosing their own toppings can make children feel in control of their food, and they might be more open to trying something new.
  • Dip in: Serving salad dressings or other dips with cut-up veggies can be a fun way to introduce your child to new tastes.
  • Don’t give up! If your child doesn’t like a new food right away, don’t offer it for a while.  After a few weeks, try it again but prepared a different way (like cooked instead of raw).
  • Above all, be patient. We all have our likes and dislikes, and forcing your child to eat something won’t help and could make things worse.

For more ideas about how to get your child to try new foods, check out the link below!

https://www.eatright.org/food/nutrition/healthy-eating/8-ways-to-get-picky-eaters-to-become-more-adventurous

Raychel Adreani is a Dietetic Intern with Wellness Workdays.

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