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My four-year-old twins are so picky about what they will eat that I worry they are not getting a balanced diet. What can I do?

There are many ways you can add variety and make foods fun, such as:

  • Make smiley faces on foods
  • Add cheese to vegetables or other foods.
  • Cut sandwiches into shapes with cookie cutters.
  • Make juice-sicles by freezing juice using Popsicle sticks.

Involving children in shopping for food and planning, preparing, and serving meals can also help take some of the struggle out of eating. Children may be more willing to eat meals that they have helped to prepare.

  • Providing healthy snacks can also help your child maintain a balanced diet.
  • Set out ingredients and let children put together their own snacks.
  • Keep fruit and other nutritious snacks available for children.
  • Give children choices—“Would you prefer carrot or apple slices?”
  • Don’t allow snacks to take the place of meals.  

Remember that most picky eaters will change their eating habits over time but this will usually happen much sooner if parents avoid power struggles over food.


Source: ParentLink, 4-H/Youth Development, University of Missouri-Columbia




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Last update: Wednesday, May 13, 2009





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