boy eating broccoli, picky eater

10 Ways to Work With Picky Eaters

LOCAL DOCTOR & NEW AUTHOR MAKES HEALTHY EATING FUN

I would love to start “Parents of Picky Eaters Anonymous” due to the number of times I see frazzled parents with concern about their child’s eating habits, or parents who have just given in to the “chicken fingers and peas/corn/broccoli” option. But giving in or giving up, while understandable, does not have to happen.  Stay relaxed; every meal is not going to be enjoyed or appreciated by your child/children, and the last thing the table should become is a battle of wills. Charlottesville-based doctor and now children’s book author shares his tips for turning picky eaters into healthy eaters.

Tips For Dealing With Picky Eaters

Let them choose the menu. By getting them involved with the choosing and making of meals, children may have an increased interest in trying new foods. Get them involved in the shopping of healthier food items, too!
Be a model for good eating practices. Emphasize those habits when hanging out with family and friends.
Serve a meal and allow picky eaters to just take 2 bites of any new food. It often takes a child trying a non-sugary food 10-13 times before they decide they like it.

 

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Almost all children will eat when they are hungry. If your is making poor food choices, he may be tired or have had too many snacks. Don’t wait until a child is too tired to feed them, opt for earlier mealtimes and less snacks throughout the day. 
If possible, serve healthier vegetables in a more palatable way before opting for “kid approved” veggies like corn and fries. High density vegetables like spinach or red peppers can be easily added to sauces. Frozen chopped spinach can be cooked drained and pureed into pesto. Red peppers can be roasted and pureed into red sauce. Making “chips” by roasting veggies with grapeseed oil and garlic salt can be another delicious way to add veggies into the day. Start with favorites such as corn, sweet potatoes (especially baked “fries”), sweet bell peppers, grape tomatoes, carrots or milder veggies (such as jicama, celery, cauliflower) with a yummy dip, squash (fashioned as pasta is a favorite), and spinach (especially in a berry smoothie or homemade fruit popsicle)
Make dips. Children love to dip foods.  Make ranch dressing with yogurt and sour cream and let kids dip raw veggies as a snack or with a meal.
Serve small servings. Sometimes a plate full of food can be overwhelming; a petite portion may make eating the new food more feasible to children. 
Ensure there are healthy snack options available in between mealtimes; peanut butter mixed with honey, raisins with celery/apples (ants on a log), or guacamole, or hummus. 
Enhance the taste with herbs and spices and then emphasize the taste: sweet and sour, garlic, Szechuan, Balsamic, BBQ, roasted, etc. All can be
 one in a healthy manner!
Create fun around foods. Learn what makes a food healthy, create a recipe, or rhyme with food.  Look up fun ideas, faces on pizza, raw vegetable animals with dip etc.
 

Stay relaxed; every meal is not going to be enjoyed or appreciated by your child/children, and the last thing the table should become is a battle of wills.

Parents who were resigned to a steady diet of chicken fingers and corn for their picky eaters – take heart! Establishing healthy eating habits early in life can shape how a person eats into adulthood, but no one meal is going to make or break your child’s future health. Make the commitment to work towards healthy and enjoyable mealtimes for you and your kids, and then relax – you’ve GOT this, Charlottesville/Albemarle parents!

New Children’s Book From Charlottesville Doctor

Making a Magnificent You, written for children ages 5–7, is filled with colorful art and interactive rhyming text, introducing fun facts and healthy recipes using the fruit and vegetable characters. Readers will meet a variety of familiar produce (apples, potatoes, asparagus) as well as the less common, like malanga, elderberry, wakame, and many others.

Meet Author Dr. Martin Katz

Charlottesville-based physician Dr. Martin Katz is a preventative medicine expert double board certified in sports and family medicine. He is passionate about educating adults and children about the importance of foods and practices that will keep them healthy, strong, and more disease immune. Katz is also the father of four, so he faces the same challenges all parents face when it comes to getting his kids to make good food choices. His recently released children’s book, Making a Magnificent You, teaches kids about the importance of eating fruits and vegetables.

Dr. Martin Katz

 


DR. MARTIN KATZ is a Charlottesville-based preventative medicine expert double board certified in sports and family medicine. His recently released children’s book, Making a Magnificent You, teaches kids about the importance of eating fruits and vegetables.


 

 

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