Kids can be picky eaters, this is a common fact. Introducing new foods to your child's menu can be a challenge, but we've got a few tips for you to try to make it a little easier.
Don't buy so many of them. If you limit their intake of added sugars early on, you can train their taste buds to go for fruits to satisfy their craving. Excessive sugar isn't good for a person of any age, and getting your children used to choosing healthy foods over junk can go a long way.
Add New Food in Gradually
Making an entire meal of new foods is not a good idea. Some foods can be shocking to the taste buds the first time, and not in a good way. This process should be slow - introduce a small tasting of the new food that pairs well with something they currently enjoy eating. Try a new food once a week, as to ward off rejection if the previous new introduction was not to their liking.
Kids LOVE to dip. Offering dip is a good way to camouflage the taste of a new food. Whether it be ketchup, salsa or salad dressing, giving them an option will make the process smoother.
In general, children need to eat about every 3 to 4 hours. Snacks can be added in between meals, and a satisfied belly is a good way to prevent any "hanger" or crankiness that comes along with feeling hungry. Offer liquids (preferably water) with every meal and snack to encourage them to keep hydrated. If you store small packages of food in your bag or vehicle, this is an easy way to prevent resorting to "quick meals" or fast food.
Carrots or pretzels work well in this instance. Adding protein such as cheese will keep them fuller, longer. Keep a little cooler in the car for just such situations.
Parents often will make two dinners - one for the adults and one for their children. Kids love to mimic adults and watching their parents eat foods they're not generally given will help make the adjustment to new foods easier. This not only offers a bigger selection for them to choose from, but cuts down on the time needed to cook.
Planning a well balanced meal doesn't have to be a huge undertaking. Simply follow the guidelines to provide your children with a protein, vegetable, whole grain and fruit.
Staying away from added sugar will also help them enjoy "real" foods in their nature state and avoid sugar induced crashes later on.
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