by: Jillian Ouhrabka, MS ,RD, LDN, CHC
Attention Parents! Do you have a picky eater or worry what your child is or is not eating? Well, help your child learn how to eat right, you are your child’s first teacher and they follow your example. This means your child picks up on all your habits and behaviors (good and bad)!
You are their role model and they want to be like you
They will copy what they see you (the parent) do
If you do or don’t try a food, they likely will too
If you eat healthily, they will too!
Set a Good Example
- Try new foods: If you try it, your child is more likely to too!
- Keep introducing new foods: It often takes children about 11 times of seeing a new food before he/she will even attempt to try it. Don’t make a fuss if your child does not try it, just offer it and let them do the rest!
- Eat meals together and SIT down:
- Use meal time to catch up on everyone’s day and be a family
- Even if your child does not want to eat, have them sit at the table until everyone else is done and the meal is over (often times kids think if they don’t eat they can go play, breaking that notion will help them realize meal time is important)
- Turn off distractions
- This means television, cell phones, and video games
- Shop, Cook, and Bake together
- At the store, let your child pick out some new fruit or vegetables to try
- Your child will be more likely to try new foods if they are involved in making them
- Keep it positive
- Avoid making faces at food or judging it before you eat it
- If your child does not want to eat it, don’t force it-then food starts to become about control or lack there of
Your job is to provide healthy, nutritious food for your child, their job is to listen to their body and determine what they want and how much!