Ways to Expand Your Picky Eater's Taste Buds

Fixes for Common Picky-Eater

The Scenario: She eats only white foods, such as bread and pasta.
The Advice: Add some color to the mix. Stir a little pureed spinach into your child's bowl of mac 'n' cheese and say, "We're making it green today. It's like mixing paint." Getting her over the color hump may make her more open-minded about trying other foods in the future.

The Scenario: He wants food prepared only one way, like chicken in nugget form or potatoes as fries.
The Advice: "Adjust how you prepare foods to make them healthier," says Dr. Shu. Cut broiled chicken into a chunk and say, "This is a different type of chicken nugget. Try it." Or switch from regular to baked fries and then transition to baked potatoes.

The Scenario: Your child refuses to eat an entire food group, like fruit.
The Advice: Take inspiration from foods your child likes. If he eats Froot Loops, slice up oranges, blueberries, or strawberries, and add plain yogurt to mimic the colorful bowl of cereal. Instead of setting out his favorite pretzel rods, offer carrot sticks along with a bowl of salsa or ranch dressing.

Originally published in the February 2010 issue of Parents magazine.

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