Ways to Expand Your Picky Eater's Taste Buds

If you have a child who sticks out his tongue at the sight of veggies or only eats "white" foods, you're far from alone. But don't despair. We've got smart solutions for helping even the fussiest kids become more adventurous.
Messy Kid in Highchair

As an 8-month-old, your child ate mashed peas and carrots by the mouthful. But now that she's a toddler, she's staging a vegetable strike -- and would happily eat grilled cheese at every meal. How did mealtime go from a cute mess to an epic battle?

"Pickiness usually starts around 18 months and can last well into the school years," says Jennifer Shu, M.D., a Parents advisor and coauthor of Food Fights. "It's a time when kids tend to form their own likes and especially dislikes."

The best way to expand your child's palate? "Get her involved in meal decisions -- at the market, in the kitchen, at the dinner table," says Amy Hendel, author of Fat Families, Thin Families. You can also be more playful with your food prep, hide veggies in foods she likes, and more. Since there are many types of pickiness, you'll need to figure out what works for your child. The key: Keep trying.

Strategies for Picky Eaters
Strategies for Picky Eaters

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