Ways to Expand Your Picky Eater's Taste Buds

8 Rules for Dealing With a Kid Who's Fussy About Food

Don't label him "picky." This is waving the white flag, and it reinforces his stubborn, attention-getting behavior.

Give your child choices. Asking "Would you like raw or cooked carrots?" makes him feel more invested in the meal.

Avoid substitutions. Serving your child something else will make her hold out longer next time to get what she wants.

Make this deal with your child. He must take one bite, but after that he may say, "No, thank you" to more.

Steer clear of bribes. If you offer chips or a sweet for trying a food, your child will expect a reward every time.

Go the stealth route. Add pureed veggies to spaghetti sauce your child likes. Then let her know she's eaten them and "survived." Gradually make the puree chunkier.

Practice what you preach. You've got to set a good eating example. After all, you can't snack on corn chips and expect your child to munch on baby carrots.

Treat "no" as a temporary answer. "It may take 15 times before she'll try a food and maybe even like it," says Dr. Shu.

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