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Ahhhhhhh...... food! One of my true loves in life! I am a wannabe chef after all! My daughter however, a total food hater! There are a handful of foods she will eat and that took years of trying every tip and trick in the book. How a renowned foodie like myself ended up with the worlds pickiest eater is beyond me that’s for sure!
Since I happen to be the mother to what feels like one of the words pickiest eaters most days, I figured I would pass along my real mom solutions for kids who hate to eat! I’m not a parent professional in any way, just a mom who played a lot of trial and error games with her picky eater and sharing what worked for us!
Nature Made® Kids First® Gummies
Before we get down to picky eater business, I want to share a picky eater lifesaver of ours! Nature Made® Kids First® Gummies for children 4 years older and up! An easy peasy way for kids to take supplements since they are every kids favorite, gummy! Plus, they definitely take a lot of worry away from us parents knowing our picky eater is on a healthy and tasty routine!
With the school year in full swing and my daughter not exactly a huge fan of fruits and veggies, we have been loving Nature Made® Kids First® Vitamin C Gummies since they help support the immune system†! Great tasting natural flavors, no preservatives or yeast AND Gluten Free! With a new great price point of $9.99 everyone can afford them!A total win!!!!
Nature Made® Adult Gummies
I couldn’t let my daughter be the only one in on the gummy vitamin fun, so I picked myself up a bottle of Nature Made® Adult Gummies Hair•Skin•Nails on our last Target run. I take two gummies a day and they help support healthy hair, skin and nails†.
Nature Made had the 1st gummies verified by USP for purity and potency.* *Find those Nature Made USP verified gummies on NatureMade.com/USP
I know at this point you can’t wait to get your hands on some Nature Made® Kids First® Vitamin C Gummies! Just head to your local Target. Head back to the pharmacy and look for the vitamin aisle.
Alphabet Shaped Foods!
Alphabet shaped foods have been a savior! Make meal time fun with your picky eater and spell out words! Start out with a plain and simple food like alphabet cookies/crackers. Spell easy site words like eat, cat,dog, anything your child relates to. Depending on the length of your child’s name, spell their name. Then move on to more adventurous foods like alphabet soup, alphabet pasta etc. It’s crazy how something like spelling simple words can motivate a child to eat and try new things.
My child was addicted to milk for the longest time. She refused to drink anything else. We joked that she was going to turn into a cow since she refused juice and water. Then I had a friend suggest straws. IT WORKED! My child still doesn’t drink as much water or juice as I would like, but omg! Give her a straw and she will definitely down that glass of water. One-two glasses of water or juice a day compared to the zero before? A total win to me!
I don’t know what it is with shapes, but they definitely put a smile on kids faces! That sandwich your child was scared to death to touch? Take a cookie cutter and turn it into a star, heart ANYTHING and watch your child go from scared to wanting to at least touch the sandwich. Over time all that touching and giggling at the shape will turn into bite and hopefully a new food on that picky eater menu.
Eat With Toothpicks And/Or Forks
I discovered this picky eater tip from an article I read years ago on motor skills play. The occupational therapist that wrote the article talked about little ones eating foods, even finger foods with a fork or tooth pick. Then mentioned that the game of picking up foods with a fork/toothpick could possible help with picky eaters since it was a “game” & kids are highly mortivated by play and games. I decided to give it a whirl since I happened to have forks and toothpicks in my kitchen and my daughter really enjoyed it.
I know, dunking veggies into dips and dressings isn’t exactly our dream situation for our kids, but it works! Things like ranch, ketchup & bbq sauce can turn that “yucky food” into a yummy one. Over time, maybe your kid will learn to like that particular food on its own. I say if it takes ranch to get your kid to at least try it? Then let them eat ranch!
Let Them Play And Explore Their Food!
Not going to lie, some people HATE this suggestion. My own husband is one of them. However, a lot of picky eaters are extremely curious! That’s why they are picky. They hate surprises! They want to explore their new food before sticking it in their mouth since they don’t like the unknown and most young ones explore by play. Let your kid make that mess, explore all the eats on their plate. After they get a good touch and feel, then maybe they will just devour their entire plate since it’s no longer a stranger to them.
Let Your Kid Help Cook!
I can’t preach this enough!!! Let your kid help you make dinner! Let them help you with lunch. I can’t tell you how many times I got my own picky eater to at least try something she helped me make by telling her over and over that SHE made that meal! Your kid will feel happy and excited that THEY helped make dinner and chances are they will be guilted into at least taking that one tiny bite. Fingers crossed that one bite turns into a new favorite!
Is your child curious about things in the kitchen? Do they like to play with cooking spoons? Muffin tins? Maybe they are fascinated with your mixer?
Let them play, with supervision of course ;-)
My daughter is obsessed with my mixer. It’s pink & pretty, so the obsession totally makes sense. So I let her play with it every once in awhile. The trick here is, now that she plays with the mixer every once in awhile, when I use it to cook, I let her help and drill in the fact that her favorite kitchen “toy” made that treat! So when that treat comes out of the oven, the mixer made it! She MUST try what her favorite kitchen “toy” made.
Make Meal Time Fun!
Let your kid be a kid and make Meal time fun! Is your child obsessed with princesses? Let her be a princess during lunch then! How would a princess eat? Are there any known foods your child’s favorite princess eats? Serve them to your child since that’s what princesses eat! You can do this with any character. Kids idolize their favorite characters, so chances are they will want to eat like them too!
Do you have any tips for picky eaters?
† These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease
CourtneyLynne is former model turned mommy & wifey! When not blogging all things foodie, fashion, travel, mom life & straight up fabulousness to the masses, she can be found chasing her toddler around in 6in stilettos & laughing at her own jokes her glass of wine told her to tell.