Let’s Talk About Picky Eaters!
No one likes to eat foods that they don’t like. Not you. Not me. Definitely not our kids. While mealtime should be an enjoyable experience, it’s understandably one of the most common and difficult scenarios for picky eaters. However, it doesn’t have to be! Here are some tips from one of our ABA therapists that can create a great learning environment for children and a healthy, positive mealtime experience going forward.
Tips & Tricks:
- Establish clear expectations for meal time
- Reduce any unnecessary distractions
- Talk about expectations before the meal (for example, no throwing food, must stay seated etc.)
- Give tons of praise!
- Every bite is a win so utilize this time to celebrate each achievement, particularly if the child is trying new foods or eats something they dislike.
- Let them know ahead of time what is on the menu
- Be reasonable with portions.
- Reward kids for eating the non preferred portion by offering them seconds of their preferred food items.
- Gradually increase the portion amount of non preferred items.
Definitely check with their pediatrician to ensure that there are no health concerns that could affect the child’s appetite or eating habits.
Things to Remember:
A child’s preferences will change as they grow. Healthy meal time goals should be about trying new things. As we allow space for them to develop, those little pallets will eventually become more refined (pinkies up!).
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