Being a mom of a 3 year old presents some challenges when it come to eating habits and nutrition. Honestly it has been a bit of a struggle to get my little man to eat–period. BUT over time I have learned a few tricks in getting him to not only eat, but to eat foods that are good for him. I hope these tips can help you:
Mealtime should be fun. Cut pancakes into fun shapes using cookie cutters, or make faces out of cheese, crackers and veggie slices for eyes, noses and smiles.
Slip in veggies by mashing or blending them into other foods such as soups and baked goods.
Drink up. Sometimes children prefer to drink it rather than eat it. A nutritious drink such as PediaSure Shakes can provide a delicious option. My son loves the chocolate flavor…he calls it chocolate milk and its my way of ensuring that he’s getting some type of nutrition on days when he hasn’t eaten enough or the right stuff.
Swap meals, not mealtime. If your picky eater enjoys cereal, it’s OK to have cereal for dinner, or leftover dinner such as spaghetti for breakfast. Do what works best for your child.
Lastly, sometimes children are just picky eaters, and no amount of trying, cutting or camouflaging will do. It’s important that you hide your own disappointment. Sometimes this can reinforce kids’ reluctance to eat. And, offer praise if your child even takes one bite of a new food (“I’m so proud you tried a carrot!”)