Anne Harguth, a registered dietitian at Mayo Clinic Health System, is all too familiar with the struggles of preparing meals for picky eaters. She's saying "enough is enough" and shares these tips to get kids to eat new, healthier and possibly strange-looking foods:
Understand that new foods take time. Kids don't always take to new foods right off the bat. Continue to offer the new food. It may take many tries for a child to enjoy a new food — don't give up.
Remember that small amounts offer big benefits. Offer your child a small portion of the healthy foods you enjoy. The more diverse their diet becomes, the easier meal planning becomes.
Serve as a role model. Try new foods often and then describe tastes and textures to your picky eater. They may see you enjoying new cuisine and decide it's safe.
Try one new food at a time.Serving new foods with foods that are well-liked at your house may be helpful. Offering too many new foods at one time can be scary.
Choose the right timing. It’s always helpful to offer new foods at the beginning of the meal, when everyone is most hungry.
Combine foods if necessary. Some kids may like new foods mixed in with other foods. For example, hot dish. Other kids may like new foods separate, and therefore, a sectioned plate works best.
"Dealing with picky eaters may seem like a never-ending, uphill battle, but it will get easier," Harguth explains. "Keep in mind that you’re not alone. Nearly all parents struggle with picky eaters. The key is to keep going and continue offering new foods."