Tips for Managing a Picky Eater

By Andi Champion, Marketing Manager, CHEF

Research shows that it can take up to 20 exposures for a child to accept a new food. If you’re dealing with a picky eater at home, don’t give up! Here are some tips to help expand their taste preferences.

Give your child a choice. Provide your child with options on what kind of vegetable they would like to eat. For example, ask if they’d prefer you eat roasted broccoli or sautéed bell peppers. If they feel like they are in control, they may have a more open mindset.

Try not to bribe your child or use food as an incentive. For example, “If you eat all of your vegetables, you can have dessert after dinner!” By removing this pressure, your child will feel more comfortable to explore a new food.

Include your child in cooking process. They can help measure ingredients, wash ingredients, or chop foods with a kid-friendly knife. Being hands-on with the meal preparation may make them more excited to try what they cooked.

Encourage them to take a “no, thank you” bite. Instead of forcing your child to eat something they don’t enjoy, ask that they try at least one bite of the food you are serving. If they don’t like it, they can say no, thank you.

Use a food chart and work with your child to track their exposure to certain foods. Each time they try a new food, have them rate if they liked it or not. See if eventually their taste preferences expand the more they are exposed to the food.

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