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    • What to Do About Picky Eaters During the Holidays

      By Dee Madore, .RD., Registered Dietitian

      Here are some tips for pleasant holiday meal times with picky eaters:

      • Don't force children to try new foods or finish their dinner.
        • This can lead to eating disorders later.
        • It is normal for children to go through periods of refusing to eat certain foods or new foods.
        • Allow experimentation.
        • Provide healthy choices.
        • Don't cook something different for their dinner.
      • Be prepared
        • Make familiar choices available
        • Allow your child to help prepare meals.
          • Rinsing vegetables
          • Stirring muffin or bread mixes
          • Preparing baking sheets for dinner rolls
          • Measuring
      • Divide responsibilities
        • Parent's responsibility -- Parents still decide what comes into the house and what's on the menu, as well as setting structured meal and snack times (no short-order cooking!)
        • Child's responsibility – The child chooses what and how much to eat from what is served at meal and snack times.

      Things to Keep in Mind All Year

      • Serve small serving sizes of bite-sized pieces
      • Include a variety of color
      • Mix unpopular food into favorites
      • Have child help with grocery shopping
      • Avoid making issues about your food preferences
      • Eat with your child and become a role model
      • Offer one or two new foods each week
      • Allow 10-15 presentations for your child to try the new food
      • Limit access to "empty-calorie" foods
      • Limit juice to a maximum of 4-6 oz. per day and milk to 16-20 oz. per day to prevent filling up on liquids
      • Every meal or every day doesn't have to be balanced. Look at the week overall.

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