I found this on-line and I know a lot of parents face the same issues with their kiddo’s. Now if you your blessed and your child eats everything, well lucky you! LOL….I have a picky eater, I really don’t know if you want to call her picky I think she’s just discovering the things she likes and dislikes and I as a mother want to make sure she tries everything, I feel like as a kid I missed out on so much but in reality it’s probably because my tastes changed and back when I was two broccoli wasn’t a favorite, but it is now! Read these tips and ways to help your kiddo eat more.

As a baby, my son, Julian, was what you’d call “a good eater.” He took to nursing like a champ. He loved purees from his first bite of pears—and ate pretty much anything we offered: beets, parsnips, rutabagas. Finger foods were a hit. Bits of salmon, squash, beans—he ate them all. I was proud. And then I was humbled. Right around Jules’s second birthday, he stopped eating spinach. He quit carrots. He still ate corn—but only if it was off the cob.

“Picky eating is a normal rite of passage,” says Jill Castle, R.D., a pediatric nutrition expert in Nashville and a mom of four. “All toddlers at some point demonstrate some level of pickiness.” Fortunately, fussy eating is usually a fleeting stage (true for Jules, who, now 3, eats mostly anything). The thing is, your kid’s dissing of what you’re dishing up rarely has anything to do with the food itself. Knowing what’s behind it, though, can help you push through a finicky phase much faster.

Reason your child’s refusing: Two words—Miss Independent.

What’s happening: If “the orange one” is the typical answer you get when you ask your child whether she wants to wear the red or the blue shirt, are you really surprised when she scoffs at what you’re serving for dinner?

Work with it: The “polite one bite” rule is great, but leave it at that, says Castle: “The goal is not to get them to eat the broccoli today but to help them actually like the broccoli long-term.” Susan Miller of Franklin Lakes, NJ, employed this strategy when feeding her sons as toddlers. “I made sure there was at least one thing on their plates I knew they’d eat,” she says, “but they had to taste the other foods, too. If they didn’t like what they tried, fine, but what eventually happened is that, having been exposed to a wide variety of flavors, my sons now eat almost everything.”

But when you’ve got a kid who refuses to eat anything on her plate, anxiety often kicks in, leading you to make desperate offers of healthy staples you know she’ll like: “How about a bowl of cereal?” or “Let me get you a container of yogurt.” Instead, consider giving her some control over the menu. At my house, make-your-own-burrito nights are a hit. I put out bowls of fillings—rice, beans, shredded cheese, and diced avocado—and let Jules create his own culinary masterpiece. Giving him the opportunity to “make” his own dinner gets him excited and eager to eat up.

 

The power struggle: over!

Little kids long to control their worlds, and doing that through food comes naturally. To break the push-pull cycle:

Let go of your end of the emotional rope. You can’t force your child to do anything, especially eat, so just stop trying. Simply offer her nutritious, varied foods — and eat them yourself. She can have hers, or not, but you’re showing her how. Do you still remember having to eat your veggies or clean your plate before you could leave the table? Adam Strauss, M.D., a pediatrician in Westwood and Mansfield, MA, offers a word of caution. “When parents demand that their kids eat certain foods, they’re attaching negative connotations to it. Pretty soon, the struggle is worse.” Put the food on her plate, but if it stays there, don’t push her, and don’t stress over it.

Give straightforward praise, even if he takes only one bite of something new. For example: “It’s great that you tried the chili!” Basing the praise on how you feel (“Mommy’s so happy!”) sends a questionable message: He controls your emotions with his fork. “I used to feel really attached to my kids’ eating the dishes I’d taken the time to make. My emphasis on my split-pea soup especially made everyone miserable. Finally, one day I ignored the soup but put out some fun sides, and the kids ended up tasting the soup,” recalls Heather Swain, mom of Graham, 2, and Clementine, 4, in Brooklyn.

Don’t get hung up on the time of day your child eats, or how much she eats at a sitting. It’s okay if your kid doesn’t eat three square meals every day as long as over the course of a week or two she eats things from each food group.

Offer choices that don’t matter. You may face stubborn insistence that toast have a corner unbuttered to avoid messy hands, or that cereal be served only in a Go Diego Go! bowl, or that nothing touch. While this kind of behavior is draining, it’s typical at this age, says Dr. Strauss. Give him an option — the green plate or the blue? Offering your child a limited choice is often enough to end the power struggle. But make your rules clear: “At home, you can choose your cup, but when we’re out, you have to use whatever they have.”

My kid won’t eat meat

The texture turns off many preschoolers, and that’s fine. “My two-and-a-half-year-old is basically a vegetarian, barring hot dogs and his latest discovery, ham,” says Elizabeth Gonzalez, mom of Jason, 2, in Yorktown Heights, NY. “I offer lots of peanut butter, cheese, yogurt, and veggie burgers, and he’s doing just fine. We always ask if he wants meat when I make it, but when he invariably says no, we say A-OK and try not to press it.” Like Jason, your child can still get all the protein he needs from:

  • yogurt, cheese, or cottage cheese
  • nachos with beans and cheese
  • hard-boiled eggs or any egg dish
  • his favorite crackers dipped in hummus or spread with peanut (or nut) butter
  • cheese or even meat-filled ravioli (the pasta exterior goes a long way for meat-haters)
  • mini-tuna melts (if he’s game for fish, but stick to chunk light, only twice a week)

Veggies? Yeah, right

This is the most common picky-eater problem. To convince him it’s easy being green, try:

  • thinly sliced veggies stir-fried with teriyaki sauce, maybe a little chicken, and rice. Go with carrot slices and baby corn to start. Water chestnuts have little taste, and can be a good stepping-stone to serious veggies
  • zucchini muffins and veggie lasagna. (Find the world’s easiest, kid-friendliest recipes at 10 Tasty Veggie Kid Meals.)
  • lettuce wraps. Use a filling he’ll eat (anything goes, from turkey to cream cheese) and a romaine leaf as a wrap. The novelty of the whole thing may just win him over.
  • dressing — honey mustard, ranch, even ketchup or melted butter — with veggies for dipping. Put the plate next to a sure thing (say, grilled cheese) to lure him to the table. We all tend to eat more when the food is right in front of us.
  • thinking outside the frozen-corn box. “Graham hated all vegetables — or so we thought,” says Heather Swain. “We tried peas, carrots, corn…then we put kale in front of him. Turns out, he likes the bitter ‘adult’ veggies like kale, chard, and broccoli rabe. By continually offering him choices, we finally hit on what appeals to his taste.”

Unless it’s white, it’s a no-go

Preschoolers like lots of colors in their pictures, but not always on their plates. Consider:

  • fruit smoothies. Blend a banana with vanilla yogurt for a healthy sweet snack. You can freeze this for ice pops, too.
  • mac and cheese made with whole-wheat (or whole-wheat — blend) macaroni. This may not fly, but you’ve got a better shot with a cheese sauce than a tomato sauce or butter.
  • oven-baked fries — half regular and half sweet potato to ease your child into the idea of other spuds.
  • half white-/half whole-wheat — bread toast and sandwiches in fun shapes. Use cookie cutters.
  • a rainbow meal. Take her to the market to pick out red, orange, yellow, purple, pink, and green foods.

Bright spots and trouble spots, revealed!

We tracked a gaggle of preschoolers called picky by their moms. We then asked Inger Hustrulid, R.D., a family nutritionist and president of the Massachusetts Dietetic Association, to look at the log of The Pickiest: Genie, 4. Guess what? Hustrulid found some good things. Check them out, along with her quick fixes for the not-so-good.

MONDAY

Breakfast: chocolate-chip waffle with fat-free whipped cream, orange juice
Yay! Genie eats breakfast. Kids who skip this meal may be more irritable.

Lunch: 3 chicken nuggets, orange juice

Dinner: buttered pasta, half of a Shake ‘N Bake chicken breast

Snacks: Teddy Grahams, ice pop.

TUESDAY

Breakfast: Froot Loops, milk, orange juice

Trade super-sweet cereal for one with less than 8 grams sugar and more than 4 grams fiber, like Clifford Crunch.

Lunch: 1 slice pizza, cake, M&M’s

Dinner: 3 chicken fingers, a few french fries, 1/4 of brownie à la mode, milk.

WEDNESDAY

Breakfast: Froot Loops, milk, orange juice

Lunch: 4 Mickey Mouse cheese ravioli with butter and salt, pack of Transformers fruit snacks

Try olive oil or tomato sauce on pasta for more healthy fats and lycopene.

Dinner: 2 fried mozzarella sticks (breading picked off), 1/3 cup plain white rice, 1/4 cup Rice pudding, cranberry juice

Snacks: pack of Transformers fruit snacks, apple.

THURSDAY

Breakfast: chocolate- chip waffle with fat-free whipped cream, orange juice

Lunch: Velveeta Shells & Cheese

Dinner: 3 chicken fingers with french fries, chocolate ice cream

Sweet-potato fries make a vitamin C-packed substitute. You can buy them frozen.

Snacks: pack of Transformers fruit snacks, lollipop, half of a 2% Polly-O string cheese, banana

Another high point: Genie eats plenty of whole fruit.

FRIDAY

Breakfast: chocolate- chip waffle with fat-free whipped cream, orange juice

Lunch: 3 chicken nuggets, orange juice

Dinner: 4 Mickey Mouse cheese ravioli with butter and salt
Offering her “usual” with a child’s-fist-size portion of veggies is ideal. Isn’t happening? Just keep trying.

Snacks: half of a 2% Polly-O string cheese, apple.

SATURDAY

Breakfast: chocolate-chip waffle with fat-free whipped cream, orange juice

Lunch: 3 chicken nuggets, orange juice

Dinner: buttered pasta, corn

Corn is fine, but try to swap in a new veggie now and then. Baby carrots are a safe bet.

Snacks: half of a 2% Polly-O string cheese, ice pop, pear, Tootsie Roll, Teddy Grahams, apple

The string cheese is a great calcium-rich snack.

SUNDAY

Breakfast: chocolate-chip waffle with fat-free whipped cream, orange juice

Switch to a 100% whole-grain waffle. Try your luck at topping with peanut butter for protein and sustained energy.

Lunch: 3 chicken nuggets, orange juice

Genie actually has protein every day. Nuggets count!

Dinner: 1 slice brisket with gravy, a few sips of matzo-ball soup, 1 Mallomar

Snacks: banana, apple, Teddy Grahams, 2 fun-size Hershey bars, lollipop.

By: Nikki Micco from “Parenting” www.parenting.com

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