Ways to Expand Your Picky Eater's Taste Buds

6 Clever Tricks for Getting Your Closed-Minded Eater to Open Wide

  1. Talk up tastes At family gatherings, mention how much you like the food (and have an older sibling or cousin do the same). "Hearing your enthusiasm may encourage your child to take a bite of something unfamiliar," says Hendel.
  2. Work with your kid, not against her At every meal, include one dish you know your child will eat. She's more likely to try collard greens if she knows she can fall back on sliced turkey.
  3. Give him a say Let each family member pick a preferred entree (or side dish) once a week. Ask your child: "Do you want chicken tomorrow? Should we use the slow cooker?" If he can't decide, ask if he'd like to search online together for a new recipe you can try.
  4. Be creative about nutritious treats Dessert doesn't have to consist of empty calories. The next time your child asks for ice cream, set up a DIY banana-split bar with low-fat frozen yogurt, fresh fruit, and a little cereal sprinkled on top.
  5. Eat breakfast for dinner Even picky kids tend to like whole-wheat toast with low-fat cream cheese, fortified cereal, and scrambled eggs. So let yours end the day with "brinner" now and then -- as long as he'll eat the peach slices on his waffle.
  6. Make veggies sound cool One study from Cornell University, in Ithaca, New York, found that when carrots were called "X-ray vision carrots," 4-year-olds on average ate nearly twice as many of them. So serve up some "power peas" and "zany zucchini."

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