Healthy Eating Tips for Picky Eaters

Sometimes it can be a challenge to feed your children and make sure they get all the nutrients they need daily. The challenge reaches new heights if the child is a fussy or picky eater. In an ideal world you could train the child to no longer be such a fussy eater, but this doesn't work with all children. While it's always a good thing to teach your child to be more adventuresome when it comes to trying new foods, training them to be less fussy takes time and as they learn they still need the proper nutrients to help them grow.

Don't Become Stressed

It's important not to become stressed when your child refuses to eat. This is easier said than done, especially when you want your child to be healthy and grow. But a child can sense your stress and this can diminish his or her appetite or turn food into a power struggle. Try to look at the big picture and focus on making even the smallest improvements to your child's diet over several days instead of focuses on one nutritionally bad day.

Don't Lie

If you've managed to sneak in something healthy into a recipe your child loves, tell them what you put in it. For example, if you made zucchini bread for the first time and your child told you she liked them; make a point of letting her know what you put in it. This can begin the association between healthy foods. When your child thinks "zucchini" she'll think "yummy." This method will probably not work if you're trying to sneak in a healthy food that your child already dislikes.

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits have a natural sweetness that many children like. Experiment with the different types of fruit to find ones your child likes the most. If your child doesn't like fruits much, you can make it more enjoyable by allowing them to use dip or chocolate. Dip can also work for raw vegetables. Find a dip your child likes. You can even add an extra element of fun by allowing him make his own even if it's not a flavor you'd make for yourself like ketchup, ranch dressing and mustard together. But if your child loves it, he'll be more likely to eat his vegetables. Another way to get your kids to eat fruits and vegetables is to make smoothies out of them. Make it a game and let your child help you make the smoothie by choosing the ingredients. Then add additional supplements like wheat germ or flax seed.

Offer Healthy Snacks

Some young children simply don't want to eat at mealtime and prefer to graze all day. Work with this by providing healthy snacks throughout the day like nuts (assuming there are no allergies), dried fruit, raisins, yogurt, boiled eggs, whole wheat crackers and cheese. Even if your child eats all day, make her sit at the table for mealtime like everyone else so she gets used to that routine. Put a small amount of food on her plate and let her decide whether or not to eat it.