Dealing with a picky eater in your life? It can be frustrating on both sides when every meal becomes a battle. Learn strategies from Jessica Louw, cofounder of Little Foodie, for integrating a variety of healthy, sustainable options into your favorite picky eater’s diet — and still make sure there’s plenty of time for fun.
The helicopter spoon starts spiraling lower and lower, landing in the targeted hungry mouth. We pull the spoon out and wait…do their taste buds react with an open mouth filled with glee? Or do we see their lips start to purse, tears begin to well in their eyes and prepare ourselves for a volcanic spit up eruption? Although this may be a #dayinthelifeofaparent, it doesn’t make the frustrations of dealing with a picky eater any easier.
Finding the balance between feeding your little one healthy food and actually getting them to eat is a struggle, especially when so many of the options on the market are loaded with sugars and preservatives. It’s difficult for vegetables and healthy proteins to compete with cinnamon rolls, candy canes, and sugary juices. Sometimes, it gets even worse as they start feeding themselves and “no” becomes their favorite word at meal time (ok, their favorite word all the time).
Thankfully, there are new options coming to the market that are making healthy eating fun, accessible and sustainable. The next time your picky eater is giving you a hard time, try out some of these tips and you just might be pleasantly surprised at the outcome.
1. Keep healthy options handy
Once Upon A Farm Organics – Cold-pressed foods for babies. These grab and go pouches focus on “Farm to Table”, all-natural, fresh ingredients to invigorate the palates of babies and toddlers.
Wild Planet – Skip Jack Single Serve – These packs are the best for a high protein snack that you can take anywhere. They also focus on sourcing only from smaller migratory fish, that are lower in mercury, keeping it safe for your little ones. Try combining the Once Upon a Farm Wild Rumpus Avocado and Wild Planet Skip Jack Pack with a piece of toast for the perfect kid-friendly, grab-and-go meal!
2. Make it fun
Little Foodie – These “punny” onesies and toddler t-shirts are the perfect way to make fruits and veggies fun for your kids outside of the kitchen. Made from 100% organic cotton, each item comes with a fun, brightly colored character and a tasty tidbit of good nutrition information right on the label helping to get the whole family involved in the conversation of a healthy lifestyle. To create the ultimate grab-and-go meal (and super-perfect Instagram) grab yourself an Avo-cuddle shirt to go with your avo and tuna toast.
Field Trip Fun – Whether you head to a pumpkin patch in October, a Salmon run on a trip to Seattle, or just a casual trip to the grocery story, learning about the benefits, sourcing and packaging of your food together helps engrain positive associations with certain foods. One idea might be to chat about why catching mature fish vs little fish is better for the environment and our bellies while picking out a Wild Planet snack. Even though toddlers may not understand everything we say, the more we talk about things outside the kitchen in a positive light, the more associations they can make to liking it. A lot of times, our taste buds can be fooled into enjoying things that we like for other reasons.
3. Be a role model
Play on the power of copy cats – Children are pretty amazing at copying and often times they will want to eat the foods that you do. Try to set a routine to eat as a family without the distractions of TV or phones. Even if you have a healthy snack while they eat their full meal, keep one item on each plate the same as a mechanism of connecting the experience.
Don’t give up – Research says it takes an average of seven times before you really know if you like something or not. For some it could by the first try, for others the twelfth, but persistence in experimenting with foods through new recipes or combinations is a great path to finding a new favorite and healthy combination like mashed beets and potatoes.
Introducing new foods to your little one can definitely be a test for the nerves, but when you finally crack that smile and the giggles of delight for a new fan favorite, the reward is well worth it.
Now that you’ve got the tips to win over your picky eater, we’ve got a giveaway with Little Foodie Living to nourish your little foodie — in style, the sustainable way! Check out our Instagram to enter! Share with us what works with you and your family in the comments below!