Help your children be less afraid of food
Children need to maintain a balanced diet in order to obtain the vitamins and minerals they need for academic performance and play. Plus, a balanced diet will allow them to reach their full potential for growth and development.
“Initiating healthy habits during childhood can have a lasting impact, often influencing diet preferences and eating habits that can be maintained in adulthood,” said Caitlyn Talbert, RDN, LD, working with the Cystic Fibrosis and Endocrinology programs at Children’s Minnesota.
Tips to try
Talbert and her colleague Rachel Laquere, RDN, LD, share three tips to get picky eaters to try fruits and veggies:
Get kids involved
Let kids help with meal planning, picking out foods at the grocery store or farmers market, prepping, and cooking! Typically, the more kids are involved in the process of making a meal, the more willing they will be to try new things.
Be a role model
Kids learn a lot from example, so it’s important for parents and older siblings to be a good influence. If kids see older family members trying new foods, they will learn to do the same.
This concept helps kids make small steps toward accepting new food. Start with a food your child already knows and loves and offer a similar food with a slightly different shape, color, size or texture. For example, if your child loves French fries, you could offer sweet potato fries, then roasted sweet potato sticks, then zucchini sticks.