Turning picky eaters

Being picky doesn’t mean avoiding healthy foods. Take these steps to transform your child, or adult picky eater.

Picky eaters are not just kids – sometimes they are adults. How can picky eaters, young and old, still make healthy choices? Don’t go to war over food. Michigan State University Extension recommends finding small ways to make changes that will stick, without making dinnertime a battle zone.

The first thing you can do for a picky eater that is a child is to be an example. If you’re the picky eater, find someone that you feel is a positive example.

Keep healthy choices on hand and healthy food accessible. Have fruit and veggies ready to grab as snacks for yourself and for kids. Limit the junk food you keep in your home, if it’s not around then it’s not an option.

Don’t stress yourself or your child by forcing foods. Start small by increasing the fruits and vegetables that you already enjoy into meals. Set a “try bite” or “one bite” rule for yourself or your kid. This will encourage trying new or different foods without the pressure to eat the whole plate.

It’s also important to try to new foods. A person’s taste buds change. Things that you didn’t like as a child, may appeal to your taste buds as an adult, but you won’t know unless you try. Try new textures and flavors.

It may take some creativity to introduce healthy foods to picky eaters. Find something that you like and do one thing to make it healthier. This way no one is pushed too far out of their comfort zone. For example, if you’ve never tried a smoothie, make one with your favorite fruit. Try mashed cauliflower in place of potatoes. If making the switch is seems like too much, try combining potatoes and cauliflower.

Keep trying new foods, textures and flavors stress free by making small changes. Keep healthy food options on hand. Find what makes you or your picky eater comfortable by not forcing big changes, but by making small changes.

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