Thursday, July 18, 2013

Tips for "Picky" Eaters

Is your child on a "Hunger Strike"?  Is meal time a battleground with your child refusing to eat?  Is more food ending up on the floor than in the mouth??  If you answered yes to any of the above questions, read on!  Here’s my best tip for the “picky eaters”!  It is “Grand-kid Tested and Approved!” 

My special equipment for my best tip for encouraging children to eat is simple and inexpensive: 

a toothpick!

I first tried using a plain, rounded, wooden toothpick with grandson Noah when he went through the “Toddler-Starvation” stage.  It worked, and he still sometimes uses a toothpick to eat meals today - just for fun.

Noah at age 2

I alternately threaded green beans (that Noah would not eat) on the toothpick with noodles from Mac and Cheese (his favorite) and offered it to him.  Surprisingly, he ate it, so I made more!  I gradually and cautiously tried adding bits of meat to the toothpick along with other vegetables, and he ate those, too!

This was the beginning of many “Toothpick hor d'oeuvres” that would be enjoyed by my grand-kids!  Foods that they normally would not eat were greatly enjoyed on a toothpick!

Mia likes to make
"Green Bean hor d'oeuvres"!

I bought colored toothpicks for more variety, and they were a big hit!  The older kids started asking for their favorite color, and it also helps teach the younger grand-kids their colors.

Plain and bright colored toothpicks

Of course, it doesn't take long for the kids to get creative and make their own Toothpick hor d'oeuvres, but that only adds to the fun!

Other Tips:

  • Serve least favorite foods in small clear or colored bowls or small dessert dishes to make them more appealing.
  • "Hide" vegetables in favorite foods.  Try adding finely chopped or pureed carrots, potatoes, onions, celery, squash, etc., to meatloaf, meatballs, pizza, or other foods.

Nancy's Note:  
To avoid possible injury, the use of a toothpick by a child should be supervised carefully!

Bring on the toothpicks!!

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