A Answers (4)
Mehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
Parents know that kids can be picky eaters, so try to lead by example by trying new foods. Use cookie cutters to make fun shapes with fruits and veggies (like watermelon and peppers) -- they will love it!
Recognize that it is your responsibility as a parent to prepare and serve the food to your child and your child's responsibility as to how much he/she eats. Also realize that it can take anywhere from 10-20 exposures to a new food before developing a palate. After 3 failed attempts at introducing a new food take a break and try again in a few days/weeks. Encourage your child to enjoy a wide variety of foods, colors, textures and flavors by modeling eating behavior and leading by example. Explore the grocery store or local market together to select new foods. Serve small, bite-size portions of a new food with familiar foods at the meal. Encourage and praise rather than bribe.
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics answeredThe parent-child struggle over mealtime is one nearly every family goes through at some point. The conflict between your children eating what they need versus your children eating what they want can be a frustrating experience for parent and child alike.
There are ways to encourage your child to eat healthfully without a constant struggle:
- Make sure your child is hungry at appropriate times by limiting snacking between meals. A healthy afternoon snack is okay, but a hungry child is more likely to eat what you serve at mealtime.
- Don't pressure your children to eat healthy foods. Discuss benefits of healthy food choices and encourage them to make healthy choices.
- Serve as a role model for your children. Show them how to eat healthfully by eating healthfully yourself.
- Take your children to the supermarket and allow them to pick out healthy foods they like. Also, let them help you plan the menus.
- Plant a vegetable garden with your children. Playing an active role in growing vegetables provides more incentive to eat them.