Peter, Peter, Picky Eater...I’m hearing more and more from parents about picky eaters.  This led me to go on a crusade to assist parents with picky eaters.  I had lunch at the end of the summer with Dr. Bryan Levey, a pediatrician, what he told me was a shock.  He has never seen so many cases of malnutrition.  It is especially surprising that this is occurring in affluent neighborhoods in his practice area of Southern New Jersey.  It is hard to believe that it is necessary in America for people to suffer from malnutrition.

Dr. Levey and I developed ten tips for picky eaters to help children make a healthy connection with all types of foods.  When there is a picky eater in the family, it is important to widen and expand the youngster’s palate with other alternatives rather than focusing on the foods s/he likes.

Snacking should be limited to two a day, not all day long.  Believe me; a child will eat when they are hungry, so grazing on snacks all day long will reduce hunger at dinnertime.  Both Dr. Levey and I do not believe in forcing a child to eat what they do not like, a better approach is requesting s/he take two bites of a new food and then resume eating the food the child likes.

Having your children help out with planning the menu, food shopping, and preparing the meals will make them feel connected to the food.  Make food fun.  Using mini cookie cutters are one my favorite strategies; you can carve letters to create your children’s names or cut shapes in cucumbers, watermelons and other soft veggies/fruits.  My friend Lorraine draws a smiley face on her children’s bananas, when she packs their lunch for school in the morning.

Get your copy of the Ten Tips for Picky Eaters.