Archive | Picky Eaters

Creative Ways To Get Your Picky Eater To Eat Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are important to a toddler’s health and development. However, a lot of children loathe eating them. If your toddler is one of them, here are a few strategies that can help you make your picky eater eat fruits and vegetables minus the food wars.

Hide Them

Try concealing fruits and vegetables into your toddler’s favorite foods. Do not feel guilty about being sneaky. After all, you are doing this to ensure your toddler gets all the vitamins and minerals he needs to thrive. For example, you can grate some carrots into the spaghetti sauce or mash and add them to macaroni and cheese. If he loves pizza, puree some squash and blend them into the pizza sauce. Add finely chopped vegetables to soups, between lasagna layers or mix them into meatballs. Scramble pureed broccoli or cauliflower into eggs. This way, your toddler is still able to eat his favorite dishes while eating something healthy without him knowing it.

Switch Them

Use soy sausages instead of pork links. Add spaghetti squash to angel hair pasta and then smother with sauce. Substitute taco meat for packed veggie crumbs. Another great idea is to include mushrooms into pasta instead of hotdogs. Moreover, do not just stick to ice cream and other treats for dessert. Spice them up by offering your little one some chocolate covered strawberries, banana pudding, oatmeal cookies with raisins or fruit cake.

Bake Them

Almost all toddlers love baked goodies. Take advantage of that and make some muffins. Instead of adding chocolate chips, add some fruits and veggies such as apple and zucchini to make apple and zucchini muffins. Add white-bean puree in cookie recipes or a pack of frozen spinach into brownie mix. Add beets in chocolate cake. Your toddler will not hesitate taking a bite because the goodies still tastes sweet.

Shape Them

Excellent presentation makes food more appetizing so why not experiment with them to make sure your picky eater gets his daily servings of fruits and vegetables. Use cookie cutter shapes to create pancakes in the shape of his initials, cut eggplant, carrots, mango and watermelon into a star, heart, moon, circle and other fun shapes. Arrange cherry tomatoes, carrot sticks, celery, potatoes, corn and other colorful fruits and veggies to form a smiley face, house, sun, etc.

Blend Them

Children love smoothies. You can try mixing almost every fruit and vegetable in a blender and add some ice cubes for a cool and healthy beverage. You may try mixing some milk to make it a little sweeter.

Dip Them

Toddlers love dipping things. The next time your toddler wants to munch, slice some baby carrots, celery, lettuce, apples, pears, bananas and peaches to make a vegetable or fresh fruit salad. Place some yogurt, cream cheese, low-fat cheese, tomato sauce or a cup of ranch dressing into a small bowl and let your toddler dunk away.

Finally, for these tips to be effective, you have to eat fruits and vegetables yourself. Practice what you preach. If your toddler sees you eating them with gusto, the more encouraged he will be to include them in his daily diet.

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Winning The Food Wars With Picky Eaters

It is normal for parents with picky eaters to have food fights at the table. Here are some ideas on what you can do to end them and make mealtime much more pleasurable for everyone.

Give Your Toddler Free Will

As a parent, it is your job to make sure your toddler eats healthy foods. However, nagging, getting angry or controlling what he puts in his mouth or how much food he should eat will only increase power struggle. Hold your tongue and let your toddler decide and serve himself. This will make him feel more in control and is more likely to reduce mealtime squabbles.

Provide Food Your Toddler Likes

Another technique to stop power struggles during mealtime is to serve at least one food you know your little one likes. For instance, if your toddler loves eating pasta, prepare that along with another dish such as vegetables. By doing this, you are ensured your toddler will eat well. Plus, he might even sample the “green stuff” next time. But, avoid short order cooking. If you made chicken noodle soup for dinner yet he opts for bread, resist the urge to whim up a bowl of cereal for him.

Try and Try Until You Succeed

Just because your toddler rejected the vegetable salad you made does not mean he will not eat it forever. According to studies, children naturally reject new foods. But, the more you serve a food, the more likely he will eat it. Serve a particular food several times a week and watch your little one chow down with gusto.

Let Your Toddler Get Hungry

It is okay to let your toddler get a little hungry (but not starving) before a meal. However, do give him light snacks throughout the day. Children are more willing to sit down to a table and eat different types of food if they are hungry, even foods they are hesitant to try.

Get Your Toddler Involve

Ask your child to help you plan and prepare meals. Have him choose between steamed carrots or baked potato wedges. Ask him what dessert he wants. Make him your Sous chef and ask him to wash the vegetables, mix ingredients or slice bananas with a plastic knife. The more invested your toddler is in the meal, the more likely he will eat it.

Control What You Can

You cannot force your toddler to eat, but you can control what foods are available. Keep junk foods and sugary beverages out of your pantry. Prepare a small bag with yummy snacks in advance. Serve smaller servings of less nutritious foods or make them a side dish.

Be A Role Model

Eat a varied diet yourself. If your toddler sees you eating healthy foods, he will want to copy mommy. In addition, if you do not want your toddler to scream at you because he does not want to eat his corns, curtail your own screaming as well.

Keep in mind that your toddler is in control over what he puts into his body. So take it easy and use these tips to make mealtimes enjoyable for your toddler and your family.

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Ways To Introduce Food To Your Picky Eater

“I do not want to eat that Mommy.” is a statement mothers hear too often. It is very common for a picky eater to prefer certain foods which can hinder his body of nutrients essential for his growth. Take your picky eater on a food adventure and widen his food preferences with the help of these tips.

Make Use of Your Toddler’s Senses

Get your toddler to touch the food and say, “Feel how shiny this apple is honey.” or “Look, your cauliflower looks like a tree.”. Smell the food and say something like, “Wow, this apple smells really good.” and then encourage your toddler to do the same. After which, you can move on to licking, taking a small bite and then a normal bite. Tell him that it is okay if he spits it out if it tastes bad to him. While he is chewing his food, tell him to listen to the sound in his mouth and say, “The apple is very crunchy, right baby?”. This technique usually works in helping picky eaters become more comfortable with food.

Go To The Grocery Store or Farmer’s Market

Exposing your picky eater to a place filled with different kinds of food is the best way to introduce food in a subtle way. The produce aisle will look just as appealing as the candy aisle. It has every color, size and shape of foods you can imagine. The next time you go to the store or market, make it an adventure by handing your child a small bag and have him choose one fruit and veggie that he thinks looks cool and yummy. Without a doubt, your toddler will be so excited to eat his hand-picked goodies once you arrive at home.

Visit Farms

Another way of introducing foods to your picky eater is by visiting farms. Schedule a trip to a dairy, fruit or vegetable farm during the weekend so he can see how cheese is made, how potatoes and oranges are grown or how milk is produced. The more your toddler learns about a food, the more interesting it becomes.

Cook Together

The next time you think of a dish to cook for dinner, ask your little one to choose a recipe. Let him help you in the kitchen. He can get the ingredients out of the fridge, wash the vegetables, crack eggs or stir the sauce. The more involved he becomes in making a meal, the more likely he is willing to try and even enjoy it.

Experiment

Make food fun to eat for your picky eater by cutting foods into various shapes using cookie cutters. Serve carrots, broccoli and other veggies with a favorite dip. Slice potatoes into wedges, sprinkle some salt and grill them (for a healthier alternative to French fries). For dessert, slice a variety of fruits into small chunks, place them together in a bowl and add some cream. Or, mix them in a blender to make smoothies.

Camouflage It

When all else fails, the best way to introduce foods to your picky eater without his knowing is to hide them. For instance, add wheat bran into pancake batter. Put a small amount of pureed spinach or broccoli into scrambled eggs, soups and pasta sauce. Sneak a few pieces of chopped turnips into a pot of boiling potatoes, mash them together and serve. When baking bread, add some squash or zucchini. This way, he is able to enjoy his favorite foods while getting the adequate nutrients he needs at the same time.

Making your picky eater eat the good stuff is not always easy, but it can be done with a little creativity and cleverness.

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Healthy Meal Ideas For Picky Eaters

Planning meals for picky eaters is stressful. But, it is doable if you know how to hide vegetables in his meals and revamp his favorites. Try these healthy recipes intended for picky eaters to ensure your toddler gets all the nourishment he needs.

For Breakfast

Oatmeal

You will need…

  • 2 cups instant or regular oats
  • 3 1/2 cups low fat milk
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium banana (chopped)
  • ¼ cup walnuts (chopped)
  • 5 pieces of strawberries

Procedure:

1.) In a saucepan, place milk and salt. Bring to a boil under medium heat.

2.) Add oats. Continuously stir for 5 minutes until milk is immersed.

3.) Place oatmeal in a medium size bowl. Garnish it with sliced bananas, strawberries and walnuts. Serve immediately.

French Toast

Another classic favorite of children, French toast only takes about 2 to 3 minutes to make. Just use old bread (experiment with raisin, French or loaf bread) and dip it into the saucepan under low heat with milk, cinnamon, brown sugar and eggs. Dip into chocolate or pancake syrup to make it more tasty for your toddler. To add color, slice some apples, oranges, mangoes or any of his preferred fruit.

For Lunch

Broccoli Pesto Pasta

You will need…

  • 200 grams broccoli (sliced into florets)
  • 400 grams penne pasta
  • 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 garlic clove

Procedure:

1.) Cook pasta according to pack instructions. In a small pan, add 2 cups water and bring to boil. Add broccoli. Cook for 4 minutes.

2.) Drain broccoli and mash using a fork. Grate garlic and zest the lemon and mix into the broccoli.

3.) Drain pasta and return it to the saucepan. Stir the broccoli pesto and add olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese.

Chicken Chowder

You will need…

  • 1/3 cup chicken breast (diced)
  • ¼ cup potatoes (cubed)
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons cheese (grated)
  • ¼ cup milk

Procedure:

Combine chicken, cooked potatoes, butter and milk into a pot. Boil for 10 minutes. Mix in cheese. Add carrots, peas and corn to garnish.

For Snacks

Mixed Berries Granola Yogurt Parfait

You will need…

  • 1 cup granola
  • 2 cups fat-free vanilla yogurt
  • ½ cup mixed berries
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon honey (optional)

Procedure:

1.) Microwave cook mixed berries and sugar using a microwave-safe container for 30 to 50 seconds or until berries become soft and juicy.

2.) Spoon ¼ cup of vanilla yogurt in a glass. Drizzle with granola, soft berries and honey for a sweeter taste.

Mixed Fresh Fruits Skewers With Sweet Cream

You will need…

  • ¾ cups of your toddler’s favorite fruits (at least 3 to 4 types of fruits)
  • ¼ cup condensed milk
  • ½ cup vanilla yogurt
  • 15-20 skewers

Procedure:

1.) Shape fruits into small sizes using cookie cutters.

2.) Mix yogurt and condensed milk.

3.) Thread 1 piece of each fruit on each of the skewers. Serve with dip.

For Dinner

Baked Cod

You will need…

  • 1 pound cod fillets
  • ½ cup cornflakes (crushed)
  • 1 tablespoon butter (melted)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon mustard

Procedure:

1.) Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Sprinkle olive oil over a baking sheet.

2.) Brush mustard over cod fillets.

3.) Mix melted butter and crushed cornflakes together and drizzle over cod fillets.

4.) Place on baking sheet.

5.) Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until fish turns golden brown.

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Toddler Picky Eaters – How to Win Them Over

Toddler picky eaters are always a challenge to parents. This happens mainly because toddlers love to exercise and affirm their freedom. They want to be independent. Hence, their eating pattern is also affected.

If your toddler belongs to the group of picky eaters, then feeding him can be an agonizing task. While this is a normal phase in your little tot’s life, this can jeopardize his health especially if he prefers eating candies and chips for snacks over pasta or fish for dinner. However, there is a solution to this stressful problem. Having variety is the technique to win over your child.

Effective Ways to Handle Picky Eaters

Understand Your Toddler

You have to realize that your toddler’s palates are different to you or to his younger brother. Each child is never the same. He might not like the color, taste and texture of certain foods no matter how enticing you have prepared it. This is normal. After all, you also favor a certain type of food over other foods right? Maybe a certain food reminds him of a time he got sick or something unpleasant that happened that is why he is rejecting it. Know his reasons. In this way, you will be able to work with it.

Identify Which Type of Picky Eater He Is

There are various types of picky eaters. To help you win him over, you must first determine which category your little one belongs. If he is….

A Carbo Loader

If he likes to eat carbohydrate-rich foods every single meal, he will lack fiber and there is a big chance for his energy level to drop or make him irritable. To remedy this, the next time your toddler is hungry, serve him a bowl of fresh fruits and finger food vegetables instead of biscuits and cookies. Remember, once your toddler is hungry, he will eat anything he sees on the table. Or you can incorporate peanut butter to his favorite crackers, add scrambled egg to bread or add a small serving of fish to his rice.

A Fast-food Hoarder

Oily foods like French fries, pizza and burgers are filled with saturated fat that do not generate any nutrients to his body. The next time you hold a fast-food night, substitute French fries with oven-baked potatoes, grilled or roasted chicken instead of nuggets and fresh orange juice or lemonade over sodas.

A Veggie and Fruit Hater

Antioxidants are needed in the body to help strengthen the immune system and if he ignores fruits and vegetables completely, germs and bacteria will surround him. The next time you cook vegetables, why not let him help you in the kitchen? Once he knows how they are cooked, he will be more willing to try them out. Make a mango or watermelon smoothie to make fruits taste even better.

Introduce New Foods One At A Time

Toddlers like consistency even with their food. Do not offer an entire meal of unfamiliar food all at the same time. Instead, introduce him to a new vegetable or dish one at a time and in toddler-size portions. Alternate the family’s meals by replacing a particular food with a new one after a few weeks.

Serve His Favorite Food

To help your picky eater adjust comfortably, always include his favorite food in each meal. By doing so, your toddler will be more eager to try out other foods in his plate. Or, you can switch to having his favorite food as a reward after a week of eating healthy once he gets used to trying out new meals.

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