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When you have young children, mealtimes can be a battleground. You want your toddler to try new things and have a varied, balanced diet, but they have other ideas. These battles over food can be truly wearing, and you may find yourself threatening, bribing and cajoling with limited results, all to give in and make the same old thing for them after several hours. Try a few of these mealtime tactics to win over your picky eater.
Put it with something they know
If your child is a huge pasta fan but won’t touch broccoli, try mixing the familiar food with the new vegetable. By associating the new food with something he already knows and loves, you can break through the fear of trying something different.
Get the kids involved
If your child has taken part in the preparation of the meal, they could be more likely to want to try the food they’ve made. Let your little one pick things out at the grocery store (within reasonable limits, of course) and give them ideas for new meals to try, then have them help you in the kitchen. This will all depend on the age of your child, but even very small children can help with small tasks in meal preparation with some guidance.
Make it fun
If you can make the food on the plate look as appealing as possible, your child will react more positively to it, even if it is something new and unknown. Make shapes and faces out of the meal and cut sandwiches in new, silly ways. Hopefully, your child will be too distracted to worry about refusing.
Although your toddler may refuse something the first 5 times, once it becomes a familiar sight they may begin to warm to the idea of eating the new food. Keep putting the food in front of them, and insist on trying a bite of it each time, you may find that they eventually tuck in.