• Picky Eaters 

    Like adults, children have different preferences when it comes to food. Temperatures, colors, and textures may influence whether a child will try and/or like a new food. Some children are “picky” eaters, and prefer certain types or textures of food and refuse many others. However, a child’s refusal to eat certain foods is not considered “picky” if lack of nutrition affects growth and development.

    Strategies to help picky eaters

    • Keep the Options Open – It can take 10-15 attempts before a child will accept a new food! The goal is to keep presenting new options while making the options easier to eat. 

    • Planned Plating – The order of presentation and the amount of food given can affect if and how much food a child will eat at mealtime. Try presenting things children are less excited about eating at the beginning of the meal when they are most hungry. A good rule of thumb for determining serving size is one tablespoon per year of age.

    • Timing is Everything – If you know your child is cranky and struggles after a certain time each night, try to have dinner before that happens.

    • Imagination Food Station – Combining certain foods to create something new such as “ants on a log” or inventing new names for food such as “green alien trees” for broccoli can be enough fun to shake up the dinnertime routine.

    • One Bite Rule – The one bite rule is a great option if a child is refusing to try something new or refuses a food they have eaten in the past. The goal of this rule is not to get a child to eat all of the new food today, but to help them learn to like it over time; therefore, it is important that caregivers hold up their end of the deal and move on after one bite.



    Source: Sakovich, Abby, M.S., CCC-SLP
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    Picky Eater