May 23, 2018

5 TIPS for the pickiest eaters!!

1. Involve them in the process:
take them grocery shopping. Let them pick out a fruit or veggie in every color of the rainbow! Let them choose the weirdest looking vegetable and research it at home. My son picked an artichoke! How does it grow? what do the seeds or pit look like? How do you prepare it? Do it TOGETHER!! when kids are part of the shopping, prepping and cooking process, they take ownership and are more open to trying it!
2. Give them CHOICES:
steam 3 types of veggies together and tell them they only have to try 1 of each. I did carrots, zucchini and yellow squash together. THEN they are allowed to have more of their favorites. YES, this is totally a trick, lol! Reverse psychology for the win. My middle guy- the pickiest one, begged for more carrots. He hated the other two, which I honestly knew would happen... but it got him to eat the carrots because it was HIS choice!
Ask your kids what their 2 favorite meals are and incorporate those into your weekly schedule. IF they are unhealthy like mac & Cheese or chicken nuggets, those can be weekend meals. IF they eat well Monday through Friday, they can earn their choice on the weekend. Kinda fun!
3. DON't do the power struggle:
Control is a big issue with children who have anxiety because a lot of times their fear and discomfort is in lack of control. Kids with ADD/ADHD are so strong willed, that frankly, you just won't win. And that means that no one wins!
Another reason why I don't recommend the "you can't leave the table until you've finished your food" battle is because this instills in our kids the belief that they must eat all the food in front of them. My husband grew up with this mentality, but mostly because they had a lot of kids and not a lot of money, and he and all of his siblings have struggled with weight issues.
We want to teach our children that healthy eating is important to build strong bodies and strong minds. This works well for kids 7 and older. For younger kids, we can make it fun. Break it up into smaller tasks. Hold up 2 fingers and say let's eat 2 more bites of meat. Then as they eat one bit they get to push your finger down and make a fun noise! (This was way better in the video, lol!) But seriously, make it fun!! Then 2 veggies... and so on.
IF they just refuse to eat, they can choose to be hungry but do not get a treat or dessert. Our pediatrician said, don't force them to eat, just make sure when they are hungry, you have healthy options. If they are hungry before bed, they can have a banana or pb toast. That's it!
4. Make eating healthy FUN!!! We have this fun portion control plate that helps the kids get a variety of food on their plates. This is especially helpful on leftovers night or when momma is extra tired or disorganized (please tell me I'm not the only one!!) It helps kids to learn the food groups and they can choose what fruit they want, what veggie they want, and so on just give them the choices or let them play search for a protein in the fridge 
Cookie cutter shapes make sandwiches extra fun.
Making fruit or veggie kabobs is an awesome hands on experience.
5. When all else fails, make a SMOOTHIE!! 
My favorite smoothie has protein, fruit and veggies in it and it's dairy free, soy free, gluten free and is made with all organic food. It's so easy I add water or milk and ice and my kids gobble it up without knowing how healthy it is! IT also has probiotics which is so important for picky kids because they tend to get constipated and have stomach issues, so I can rest easy that they are getting what they need, without a lot of effort from me. Sometimes I'll even double batch it and make popsicles out of it. Now I have a healthy dessert too... cue evil momma laugh here! {bwahahah} check out my fave here: clarkstrong.com/sunshine
MOST OF ALL, Do your best & forget the rest! cut yourself some slack. No comparing kids or even to other families! See the big picture, our efforts make a big difference. Be open to try new methods.
Celebrate the little victories! We got this!! 🎉🎉

No comments: