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Serve Up Good Nutrition for Preschool Children

Get even picky eaters to eat healthfully – with a minimum of fuss.

Fend Off Food Fits

Preschoolers can be picky eaters. They may favor the same few foods for weeks on end, in spite of your attempts at variety. You can't stop children from fussing about food, but you can control the way you react to their demands for chicken nuggets or macaroni and cheese every day.

The temptation is to prepare only the foods you are sure your young child will accept. But resist that urge.

Johnson, also a mom, recommends playing down entrenched food preferences while continuing to offer a variety of choices.

"Most children will eventually get bored and at least start picking at the other foods you offer, as long as you don't engage them in a power struggle at the table," she says.

It's normal to become concerned when a child continues to choose the same limited diet. While you're waiting for your child to snap out of his eating rut, put your mind at ease by offering a daily multivitamin appropriate for your child's age. Multivitamins fill in small nutrient gaps in a picky eater's diet, particularly for iron -- a nutrient that's critical to a child's brain development, immune system and energy level.

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Reviewed on December 17, 2008

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