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My children are so picky about what they will eat. What can I do? 

The key to solving the picky-eater syndrome is to involve your children in meal planning, shopping, preparing and serving meals. In the spring, give your children a small section of the garden to plant their own seeds. Children will be more willing to eat those foods they have helped to grow and prepare. Serve children a variety of foods with different textures, flavors and aromas. Savor and enjoy foods together. Talk about different foods on your plate and how they each help to make us grow and stay healthy. You might even try giving foods fun names or reading a book about a special food before eating it. Pea soup can become “mouse” soup; meatloaf can become “Superman’s favorite.” If your child refuses to eat a planned meal, then offer an easy- to- make snack--a glass of milk and a peanut butter sandwich, for example. But don’t get into the habit of being a short-order cook by making a different meal for each child or member of the family. 

Melinda Hemmelgarn, M.S., R.D., Former Nutritional Sciences Specialist, University of Missouri-Columbia

 

More about Making Mealtime Pleasant with Young Children 

   
University of Missouri Extension Site Administrator:
mofamweb@missouri.edu 

Last updated:06/13/2005
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