End your children's picky eating once and for all using these tips

Dealing with picky eaters can be challenging for any parent, but it can be especially trying for those who love to cook or eat adventurously. For parents who want to nurture their children's taste buds, here are strategies for encouraging kids to be less picky.

End your children's picky eating once and for all using these tips

Dinner isn't made to order

  • Tell your children that what you've cooked for dinner is all there is.
  • If they don't like it, they don't have to eat it, but you won't make something special just for them.
  • That said, it doesn't hurt to have a few items that you know your children will eat, like crackers or bread, just so that they eat something.
  • It's not going to hurt them if they do choose to skip the meal, and the next time they might be more likely to give it a try instead of going hungry.

Don't avoid flavour

  • Children do have sensitive taste buds, and strong flavours like peppermint can feel almost painful to a child.
  • But that doesn't mean that everything you serve has to be completely bland. On the contrary, savoury flavours like garlic and olives can be quite delightful to a child's sensitive palette.
  • So don't shy away from adding mild spices and other flavours to your dishes. Chances are your children will enjoy them.

Make vegetables more tempting

  • As a side dish, vegetables are likely to be left untouched, especially if they're sitting right next to something a lot yummier.
  • Consider incorporating vegetables into your main dish. For example, make an eggplant Parmesan, or chop up some broccoli and put it in chilli or macaroni & cheese.
  • Cook up a vegetable-based sauce for pasta, or add sautéed zucchini and tomato to rice.
  • Another way to get them to eat their veggies is to take advantage of hungry tummies. Put out a plate of veggies and dip a half hour before dinner.
  • Kids are likely to be hungry at this time, and this idea lets them fill up on veggies.

Try one bite

  • Some parents don't want to impose this rule because they're afraid they won't be able to tell the difference between willfulness and true aversion.
  • The truth is, though, that you'll be able to tell if your child is just being stubborn or if they're genuinely nauseated.
  • Making them try at least one bite makes kids more likely to try unfamiliar dishes in the future.

Promise ice cream

When all else fails, promise them some ice cream or other sweet treat for dessert if they eat a good portion of their dinner. True, it's bribery, but it usually does the trick.

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