It can be tough to get picky eaters to try new foods... but it doesn't have to be!
Recently I presented 3 Fun Ways to Get Kids to Try New Foods: Prescription for Picky Eaters at the Child and Adult Care Food Program's (CACFP) Sponsors Association Meeting in Orlando Florida. It was a lot of fun, and today I'd like to share some of the highlights with you!
I divided my presentation into 3 sections that each addressed a different way to help picky eaters get more nutrients and fiber into their eating patterns. They include...
- Sneak in healthy foods
- Help kids engage with the sensory aspects of foods
- Cook together
Let's take a closer look at that first part of the presentation, shall we?
When it comes to sneaking healthy elements into foods kids like, you don't need to be dishonest or lie about what is in each item. Just present it with a twist (but without comment) and see what happens.
Some of my favorite ways to give foods a nutrient boost include adding...
- Cauliflower to mashed potatoes
- Stew veggies to meatloaf
- Pureed broccoli to spaghetti sauce
These kinds of shifts are good for the whole family because you are really just fortifying all of your meals with more veggies.
Another way to bring healthy foods into an eating pattern while keeping them under the radar is to serve platters of fruits and vegetables for snacks during video gaming sessions, family board games, sports games, hanging out by the pool, etc. Just having them available often means that kids will grab them when they're hungry!
One of my favorite ways to implement this strategy is to set out a bucket of fruits and veggies on ice instead of sodas.
Water can be presented, too!
After all, the more physical activity they do, the more of these things they will eat!
Well, that's all from this presentation that I'd like to share right now. Don't miss the brand-new printable handout that I created to go with this section of the presentation!
And if you're a member, don't miss the follow-up to this post Strategies for Engaging Picky Eaters with Healthy Foods. It features highlights from the second part of my CACFP's presentation: the sensory aspects of food.
Here are some other fantastic resources for helping kids shift their eating patterns in a healthy direction...
Stephanie Ronco has been editing for Food and Health Communications since 2011. She graduated from Colorado College magna cum laude with distinction in Comparative Literature. She was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa in 2008.