Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Picky Eaters: Encouraging Healthy Habits

Photo Courtesy lipsticktocrayons.com
What's in your fridge?
What's in your pantry?
What's on your plate?

If you want to set a good example for your picky eater, start by evaluating your own eating habits. What do you grab when you’re hungry? Obviously, you or your spouse does the grocery shopping, so if there is a good deal of junk food in the house, then one of you must have brought it in. Right? (Or of course, a grandparent with good intentions may be responsible! LOL).  “You have to have the good food in the house,” encourages Leanne Ely, a nutritionist and author of Saving Dinner: The Menus, Recipes, and Shopping Lists to Bring Your Family Back to the Table. (I love this book, btw!) “This helps to build healthy habits.”

  • Stock your pantry with healthy snacks that on-the-go kids can grab. and reach for them yourself.
  • Swap the canned soft drinks for water bottles and you may be surprised at how easily your kids will make the switch.
Keep trying. “Just because your child said no to zucchini when he was three doesn’t mean he will say no to zucchini when he’s eight,” Leanne says. Wait a while, and try again. At the Ely house, previously rejected foods continue to be rotated through the family menu. Kids’ tastes change, and as they mature they become more willing to try different things. She also makes statements that reflect a family expectation. “When I tell a child, ‘We eat zucchini,’ it shows a team effort. This is what we do at our house.”

Encourage your child to explore a new food by offering age-appropriate, bite-sized portions. For example, if your child is two, encourage him to take two bites.

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