· Offering a food they like at mealtime along with several other food options to choose from (offer two to three additional food options for them to choose and saying “Would you like to try broccoli, peas or both?”)
· Dressing up plain vegetables and fruits (i.e. cooked broccoli with low-fat cheese or apple slices thinly spread with natural peanut-butter)
· Make family meal time enjoyable by setting a positive, calm environment without distractions. Also be a good role model for your children by eating healthy food choices
· Do not force your child to eat if they are not hungry — it is important for them to learn their satiety or “fullness” cues
You also could puree or blend certain foods (i.e. vegetables) in a food processor and add them to a main meal (i.e. meatloaf or soup) to ensure kids are receiving vital nutrients. If you are concerned that your child is not eating enough nutrient-rich foods, ask your child’s doctor if PediaSuren would be an appropriate supplement to add to their diet. Above all, be patient with children and do not make a big deal about their current food preferences-most kids grow out of the “food-jag” phase once their taste buds mature.
For nutritional counseling, Norman Regional Health System offers the guidance of registered dietitians. Those interested can schedule an appointment for an assessment with a referral from their family physician.