Your child is learning independence
Children often reject food as a way to assert their independence. If you suspect your child is testing you, remove the food without the fuss and reintroduce it a few days later. If your child rejects the food because he doesn’t like it, don’t force it on him. The more you make an issue out of the food, the more you’re making sure a child won’t want to try it.
Helping your child to make choices and find nutritious alternatives
Because there is no food your child must have in order to survive, substituting is your best strategy. For example, children often refuse to eat green vegetables because many taste bitter. Instead of having a showdown, you can substitute equally nutritious, less bitter vegetables like carrots, corn and sweet potatoes. If that fails, try fruit. Oranges or cantaloupe can be substituted for fresh or cooked broccoli because they too are high in vitamin C. Peaches and apricots are high in vitamin A, like spinach.
Helping your child learn how to make healthy nutritious choices suited to their individual tastes vs. reaching for the candy or processed food snack will be a skill that rewards them today but also throughout their life.
If they grow veggie’s & fruits picky eaters will typically try what they have grown.
Growing a garden of vegetables can also encourage your child to taste various vegetables. This is one of the reasons why we include a vegetable garden as part of our curriculum at La Costa Valley Preschool and Kindergarten. Not only do our kids learn about science and nature but they also develop a taste for the healthy foods that they grow.
Offer rejected foods once in a while as children’s tastes change as they get older.
Fun Food Ideas
BANANAS WITHOUT STRINGS
Eat bananas like monkeys do and eliminate the icky strings. Just Peel bananas from the bottom up to eliminate the strings that many young children do not like.
Drinking Straws (preschoolers)
Spoons (younger children)
Plastic zipper type bags, sandwich size
Bowls for younger children
Knife for cutting watermelon
1. Adult cuts open the chilled watermelon with knife and cuts into one-inch chunks.
2. Children can help remove seeds from watermelon chunks. ( or use seedless watermelons)
3. Place seedless chunks of chilled watermelon into plastic zipper type bags.
4. Close all but one corner of the bag for older preschoolers. Insert a straw and push down to the bottom of the bag. For younger children, zipper the bag completely.
5. Children can squish the chunks and sip the juice through the straw. For younger children, eliminate the straw and zipper the bag completely. Allow them to squish their chunks. Pour the slurp into a bowl and provide a spoon for slurping up the goodness.