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Kids can be picky eaters. 


We've all experienced it as mothers. One minute your child loves hot dogs; the next day they won't touch them with a ten foot pole. Or how about the phases where they refuse to eat anything but one type of food (usually unhealthy)? Dinnertime can quickly become a warzone. "I don't like yogurt, broccoli tastes like grass, I'M NOT HUNGRY FOR SPAGHETTI!" Feeding your kids - not to mention trying to ensure they get the proper nutrients and vitamins - can be a Titanic sized challenge! 

However, we parents tend to overestimate the size of the problem when it comes to our kids - we worry, so we can easily become stressed if we think our child is undernourished or not nutritionally sound. Here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind next time your child refuses to eat: 

  • Try to get all the food groups in. It won't happen every day, and we have to live with that, but we can make a concerted effort to include all necessary groups as often as possible. This ensures our kids are getting the vitamins and nutrients that they need!
  • Make it FUN! Serve up themed foods (like Frogs on a Log or Apple Bites), and tell a story to go along with them! You can even do things as simple as slicing foods into fun shapes, making faces out of them, and breaking out the cookie cutters!

apples .jpg
Photo: eatingwell.com 

  • Sit down to eat with your children, emphasizing how delicious the food is and how everyone is enjoying eating it. Remember, monkey see, monkey do! 
  • Fit in snacks! Kids may not be hungry when it's time for lunch, or they may be too sleepy to pay much attention to dinner. Slipping healthy snacks into their daily routine is a great way to make sure they're getting what they require! 
  • Be realistic about portion sizes - your three year old isn't going to eat the same amount as your fifteen year old. Young children generally should get about 1/4 - 1/3 of the portion size of an adult. 

  • Look at it over the course of a week, not the course of one day. Your child might have a day where they refuse to eat anything but peanut butter, but it usually evens out between the other six days. 
  • Offer them at least one thing that they like on their plate. If you serve up a plate full of foods that they "hate", you're more than likely going to be asking for a fight! Remember, you don't want them to associate food with negativity, so concede on the Go-Gurt at dinnertime! 

Remember, it may seem daunting over the course of a day, but there are so many ways to encourage your children not only to eat, but to eat healthily. By teaching them these healthy habits now (and letting it slide every once in a while - one stop at McDonald's won't ruin their healthy lifestyle), you're setting them up with a solid foundation for the future! Take it day by day and do your best - and check back at FitToDo.com for more recipes, tips, and ideas! 

Live FitToDo and make a healthy choice. For life! 

5/16/2012 12:54:09 PM|KRIS.VANVONDEREN

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