The following are clever ideas/tips for preventing a picky eater or for getting your picky eater to expand their palate. We wisemommies get our sons to hammer our crackers for our casserole(s). Click here for the Cheesy Crunchy Chicken Casserole Recipe
Twelve Tips and Tricks to Make Food Fun through Involvement
#1 Use sensory senses, see, touch and smell. When you grocery shop, let your child look at (discuss colors and shapes), touch and smell all that you put in the cart.
#2 Get them excited about food: Get excited about what you are buying and tell them what you will be cooking with the food and or have them guess what dishes one can create with the food you are buying.
#3 Be scientist and examine: Examine, color, smell, weight, and texture of the food before eating. Starting with 6 months of age, when I began solids, I would hold the food being served, up to my child’s nose, for them to smell. I’d also let them touch and hold…Then I’d let my child eat it making whatever mess they wanted to make as they explored with their fingers and sight.
#4 See. Take your kids grocery shopping. Let them see and be a part of the food shopping experience. And when I say be a part of, I mean to literally let them help you bag, pick, look, weigh, and choose the food!
#5 Smell all spices and herbs. Sometimes I’ll take down all the spice jars and one at a time I will smell and then let my son smell the spices. We feel and talk about which ones we like best, the color, and what foods we will use with the spices.
#6 Touch. At home, let your child touch and shake boxes/bags of pasta, box of cereal, or frozen fruit.
Tear & Break: let them tear lettuce or break apart broccoli kale, cauliflower, or leaf ends of carrots. Boys, especially might like the last bit, or so it is in our case.
#7 Peel fruit. You can start to peel it, then let the child peel off piece by piece. I started this with my child at 11 months. They could peel oranges, mandarins, tangerines, bananas, kiwi, dragon fruit, or corn(cob).
#8 Scoop. Scoop out the seeds or food substance. Try this for a papaya, pumpkin (other squashes), or avocado.
#9 Hold and Stir: Let them heap steady a bowl while you mix or you steady and they can stir. They can hold measuring cups, while you pour and then they can add to the bowl.
#10 Wash the fruit. I will hold my child to the sink, or put a bowl of water on his toddler table, and let him wash the fruit that he is going to eat. This is good for grapes, all berries, exotic fruits, and veggies.
#11 Mash and sprinkle. Let them mash the potatoes or squash and sprinkle the cheese or cinnomon over their food
#12 Offer choices. Let him choose his fruit or vegetable to eat. I also let my child choose one exotic fruit every time we go to the store. He has chosen dragon fruit, persimmons, pawpaw, tamarillo, guava, avocados, figs, kiwi, and golden kiwi. I wanted to try a rambutan once but he said “ewwww” as soon as I picked one up and refused to touch it. I don’t blame him with its spiky red/yellow coating