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Let Your Pickiest Eater Pick!

Let Your Pickiest Eater Pick

We understand that your child’s tastes change. Last year he disliked tomatoes, this year he dislikes bread.

Should you force your kid to eat what you fix? Experts say that giving choices with boundaries (don't be a short order cook!) is the best way to help widen your child's palate.

That’s why we’ve put together some quick and easy lunch ideas that offer a wealth of variations to give picky eaters the power to choose from all the food groups for the perfectly balanced lunch. This year, let's leave no lunch behind.

#1: Let the Pickiest Pick: Their Food Groups
Using our Three in One Tri Bento or tray options, designate each one of your handy divided sections for every food group: fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy. 

Work with your child to teach them about the different food groups and the importance of eating a variety of items instead of overrelying on starchy favorites like pizza and mac and cheese. Try to make meal times relaxed and even fun. How many colors can you eat?

Try not to pressure your child into eating things they don't like. Stress and power struggles over food can contribute to picky eating, experts say. Instead consistently offer a variety of food choices. The goal is that over the course of a week your child will have eaten from all of the food groups.

#2: Let the Pickiest Pick: Their Grains

We often think about grains as being hollow calories. But grains and carbs are not all created equal! Steer clear of white flour since it has no fiber and turns to glue in the intestines.

But whole wheat flour, cracked wheat, oatmeal, cornmeal, and brown rice pack a nutritional punch when it comes B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid) and iron. A whole grain slice of bread or mini bagel, ½ cup of brown rice, ½ cup whole grain couscous, a homemade muffin and many other options are healthy carb choices.

Got a gluten-free eater? Not a problem. Chick peas, brown rice, quinoa and corn meal are packed with the fiber they need without all the gluten from wheat flour.

 

#3: Let the Pickiest Pick: Their Protein
Chicken nuggets might be a family favorite, but the best way to build new protein habits is to let your picky eater participate in menu planning. Whether it's meat, fish, soy, egg, cheese or nut proteins, having a choice in what goes on the plate can make a big difference in attitude for picky eaters.

In days gone by, protein almost always meant meat, but nowadays there are many delicious protein options that are vegetarian.

#4: Let the Pickiest Pick: Their Fruits and Veggies
We've all heard the phrase "eat the rainbow," so let's see if your picky eater can try fruits and vegetables in every color. It could be a game, an experiment or part of a fun family trip to the farmer's market to stock up on lunchtime foods. There are so many good choices when it comes to seasonal fruits and vegetables that hopefully this challenge will be the easiest for your picky eater.

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