Since he was born to two very young parents, my 9-year-old stepson has spent most of his life being shuffled from household to household. He has essentially been raised by about eight different people any given year between his separated parents and both sets of grandparents who play a big role in his life. Largely since the grandparents are so involved and they give him whatever he wants to eat, this child is the pickiest eater I have ever met. If it isn’t processed carbohydrates, sugar, or cheese, he won’t touch it. It is incredibly difficult to get any kind of nutrition in his diet. Since there are so many “parents” involved, we’ve had to be creative. Here are some tricks we have used to try and get some fruits and vegetables into our little dude’s diet.
One extremely important thing that was missing from our little guy’s diet was fiber since he wouldn’t eat any fruits or vegetables. A fun and easy way to get some fiber into his daily diet has been with smoothies. You can pack a lot of good things into a smoothie, and you can even sneak in some vegetables while still making a delicious tasting drink.
- The Sneaky Chef
It might sound crazy, but you can sneak vegetables into the junk food your kid already eats, and their taste buds will actually start changing. Check out www.sneakychef.com for some recipes you can use to puree vegetables and add them to kid friendly favorites like Mac and Cheese.
- Create a Rewards System
Rather than sitting at the dinner table trying to force vegetables down your child’s throat, create a rewards system that will give them a little incentive to eat their vegetables. We created a sticker chart that we keep on our refrigerator. Each time our little guy eats his veggies, he gets a sticker, and those stickers add up to money or a trip to the arcade at the end of the week.
- Get Your Little One Cooking!
This one didn’t work as well for us, but I have friends who have said it worked miracles. Get your child involved in making dinner. Make something like home made pizzas where they get to choose the toppings they want and create the pizza themselves.
Dealing with a picky eater is certainly one of the tougher battles of raising kids, but it doesn’t have to be forceful. With a little craft and creativity, you can get some nutrition in your little one’s diet without the fuss.
Author: Renae H.
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