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Healthy Meal Options for Picky Eaters

Creating a healthy at-home menu for you and your family can be very challenging. From ensuring meals include the proper nutrition to avoiding eating the same dishes every week, it can be stressful to plan. When you add a picky eater to the mix, the at-home cooking process becomes even more complicated and stressful. It’s not uncommon for children to be particular about what they eat. This not only complicates meal planning but also makes pfinding nutritious and tasty meals they enjoy much harder.

Importance of a Healthy Meal

As children grow and develop, finding foods packed with the right nutrients to help them become healthy and strong is essential. Including healthy foods in your child's diet can provide stable energy, develop strong bones and teeth, improve mental health, maintain a healthy weight, and even prevent chronic diseases. Nutrition specialists recommend children consume five or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day, so your children’s plates should be covered with them! Try to include foods filled with vitamins, nutrients, fibers, and minerals that will help keep your child healthy.

Tips for Parents Feeding Picky Eaters

Finding new and exciting meals for children to try every night is only half the battle when dealing with picky eaters. Getting children to actually eat the food served to them is a challenge, especially when introducing new fruits and vegetables into their diet. Here are a few tips to help introduce your picky eater to some nutritious foods:

- Avoid prizes! Try not to give your kids sweets for trying new fruits and vegetables. This can make the prize food more valuable than the healthy option you are introducing and could lead to your child not wanting to eat healthily without a reward.

- First-time cooks in the kitchen! Let your children help prepare some of the meals you are planning for dinner. Some meals can be quick and easy, and allowing your child to be a part of preparing their own meal can help pique their interest in how it will taste when it’s finished.

- No special dishes! Cook the same meal for everybody at the dinner table, and avoid creating special or separate meals for children. Try to introduce them to new and healthy foods by showing them that mom, dad, and their siblings all like a food they’re not familiar with. It helps to include one food your child already likes in the family meal.

Helping your child discover healthy foods and healthy eating habits at a young age will aid their physical development. A diet containing at least one vegetable or fruit can improve anything from blood pressure to healthy teeth and bones. For most parents, dealing with a picky eater can be challenging and frustrating, but introducing a variety of nutritious foods early on can help establish lifelong healthy eating habits. Ultimately, balanced and nutritious meals contribute significantly to children’s physical and cognitive growth, setting them up for a healthier future.

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