How To Work With A Picky Eater
WHERE: Soma Center in Highland Park
TIME: Sunday, October 23 at 1:30pm
Cooking for a picky eater can be tough. Preparing a home-cooked, healthy meal can be enough of a challenge and wondering whether one of the people you are cooking for is going to make a funny face and not eat what you have cooked can be very demoralizing.
Fortunately, there are a few helpful strategies available to help with a picky eater.
The most important thing is to ask the picky eater why they are not interested in eating what you have prepared.
When doing this, phrasing is important. Cara Rosenbloom, a registered dietician, recommends avoiding negative phrasing, such as “Why won’t you eat this?”, and replacing those types of phrases with more positive phrasing, such as, “What can I do to make this food better for you?”
You may be surprised at the responses you will receive when you ask this question. Here are some common, but perhaps surprising reasons children may reject food.
Temperature: Children may be more sensitive to the temperature of food than adults. Quickly heating food in the microwave or cooling it in the refrigerator can help.
Visually “Boring”: Adding little sprinkles of nuts, seeds, cheese, mint, or cinnamon can help make food more visually interesting, fun, or novel for a child.
Texture: Try adding something crunchy to foods your child finds too “mushy,” or something creamy to foods your child might find too dry or “crunchy.”
One Ingredient: There might be a single ingredient in a dish your child does not like. Let them remove this ingredient, and eat the rest of the food.
While the individual reasons children may reject food vary from child to child and even from time to time when dealing with the same child, communication is key in dealing with a picky eater. If you have a picky eater in your family, help them develop the vocabulary to explain why they are not interested in eating what you have prepared. The better they are able to express themselves, the easier it is to work with them to prepare food you can feel good about serving them and they can enjoy eating.
Here at KareBoost Health, Dr. Karen and our pediatric dietitian, Andrea Berez, can help by working with you on your specific case. We can provide more guidance on a regular basis either by phone or in person. We can be the support that you need as you deal with this challenging and frustrating experience with your child. While it may take time, your child can start eating a variety of foods. Let us help you!
Contact Us At: 732-860-KARE (5873) or Make a Nutrition Coaching Appt (link to Nutrition Coaching appts on MindBody)
Andrea Berez, MS, RD, CSP
CHECK OUT OUR NUTRITION WORKSHOP ON EATING PROBLEMS FOR CHILDREN AND TEENS