On this week’s episode of Soaring Child, we take a look at the challenges parents face when it comes to getting their kids to eat right. How do you make nutritious foods appealing to those picky eaters? Katie Kimble is a picky-eating expert and the national voice of Healthy Kids Cooking. She is also a blogger, former teacher, and mother of four kids.
Katie points out that the biggest obstacle is that parents are not teaching kids to cook. It’s important to spend time in the kitchen with your kids and even take them to the farmer’s market to show them the variety of foods out there.
One of the first steps is to wean them away from traditionally favorite foods, like macaroni and cheese, pizza, and pancakes. Put a wide variety of foods on the table, especially those that are low in gluten, dairy, and sugar. Don’t provide snacks too close to dinner time, which will lower your kid’s willingness to try new things.
Put out a vegetable tray when kids get home from school and are hungry, or start dinners with a healthy, veggie-filled soup first.
Some children may have never learned how to chew meat properly or eat crunchy vegetables, and there could be issues going on with their gut health. An occupational therapy evaluation might be helpful.
And remember, sometimes it’s not about the food but rather the relationship to the parent and their reactions. Parents should keep a “poker face” when serving healthy foods to their picky eaters and not engage in a power struggle to eat. Using positive language is also important when exposing your child to new foods, while putting lots of healthy options on the table.