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    How to End the Picky Eating Struggle

    Build Healthy Eating Habits continued...

    Cut down on distractions. Kids can be more interested in playing than eating. So power down TVs and phones during mealtime and keep the focus on food.

    Avoid the “short-order cook” syndrome. If your kid won’t eat what you’re serving, you may think you need to whip up a PB&J to keep her from going hungry. But that can create a cycle where she orders every meal on demand. Instead, clear those dishes without offering another option. “If she’s hungry, give her some fruit to tide her over until the next snack or meal,” Jacobsen says.

    Get kids in the kitchen. Let your children join you when you’re cooking or planning meals. It helps them feel in control and encourages them to eat what they helped cook. At the grocery store, they can pick out fruits and vegetables to try. At home, even toddlers can help wash vegetables, get bowls, and help big brother set the table.

    Be a role model. Kids tend to follow their parents’ example, so lead the way with what you put on your plate. “You can also make trying new foods fun,” Lemond says. Set out a number of dishes and have a taste test, where everyone in the family rates the foods on a scale of 1 to 10.

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    Reviewed on April 22, 2016

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