How To Get Your Picky Eater to Eat Healthfully
By Arianne of To Think Is To Create
1. Start Small
Picky eaters don’t change overnight, so keep your expectations low and your patience high. Start by switching that white bread to wheat, that fried food to baked or that candy bar to organic. Then eat the candy bar yourself to get you through the ordeal. You deserve it.
2. Seasoning Does Matter
Don’t be afraid to start seasoning foods that have been refused before, and offer again. Add seasoned salt, pepper, garlic, etc to everything under the sun, and call things easy names like “black salt” and “red salt”. Tell them bland food is for wimps.
3. When I Dip, You Dip, We Dip
Then let them dip away to their heart’s content. Want to dip carrots in ketchup? Be my guest, just make it the healthy ketchup (corn-syrup free). Get them so excited about the dip that they forget that they don’t like carrots/celery/asparagus, and instead ask for more mustard to dip their cucumber in.
4. All For One and One For All
If you’re trying to get the kids eating better, they can’t see you scarfing those thin mints every other day. Make it a family affair, clear out all the junk from the kitchen, and don’t buy more. With limited options, picky eaters will start to spread their wings. Show the kids you’re serious about eating well by setting the example (and keep your monthly chocolate need to yourself, and in your closet).
5. Health Makes You Cool
Play up how important it is to be healthy by teaching them that junk food will hurt their body in the long run. Tell them how taking care of their bodies will make them smarter, faster, funnier and happier. Throw in a hero or someone fit and healthy to look up to (like an Olympian, perhaps?), and you have the motivation you need. Then cross your fingers that THIS time, they’re listening.
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Published December 19, 2008.
Last updated August 21, 2013.