If you have picky eaters at home, don’t worry! You’re not alone. According to the National Institute of Health, it’s a common stage of development. However, there are ways to help your children become more versatile eaters, and it all starts in the kitchen.
Picky Eater Checklist
Get your FREE downloadable Picky Eater Checklist – Getting Started in the Kitchen
Cook Together for Success
Cooking with your children can be an exciting and fun experience for the whole family. It’s also an excellent opportunity to get your kids to try new foods. However, make sure to find age-appropriate tasks for them, as safety is always a priority.
Repeated Exposure to Food Items for Picky Eaters
One of the best ways to get picky eaters to try new foods is to expose them to it repeatedly. By handling the food items, your child might be more likely to try it. This is where cooking together comes in handy.
Age-Appropriate Kitchen Fun
Here are some suggestions for age-appropriate kitchen activities to get your picky eaters more involved in the cooking process.
Toddler and Pre-School Kitchen Fun
For toddlers and pre-schoolers, keep it simple and safe. Let them dump pre-measured ingredients into a bowl and assist them in stirring. For example, adding fruit, sugar, and cream to warm oats can be a great way to get your little one involved in the kitchen.
Ages 5 to 7 Kitchen Fun
At this age, kids can take on more responsibility. They can help create a grocery list, shop for ingredients, and put the groceries away. This process can help them become familiar with different ingredients and get more comfortable with a variety of foods.
Preparing the Food Items
Have your child wash fresh produce and measure out ingredients that need to be measured. Mixing bowls and mixing spoons, rubber spatulas, or whisks are all great tools for learning how to cook.
Ages 8 to 12 Kitchen Fun
At this age, kids can help plan the family menu, which can give them a sense of ownership and leadership. Using recipe books or social media platforms like TikTok and Pinterest can be a fun way for them to find new ideas.
Keep a Positive Approach with Picky Eaters
Even if the meal isn’t perfect, be positive and encouraging. Celebrate the effort and progress of trying new foods. And remember, leading by example is the most powerful tool. If adults model healthy eating habits and try new foods, children are more likely to follow suit.
Getting picky eaters to eat a more versatile food diet takes time and patience, but cooking together as a family can make it an enjoyable journey. Exposing your children to new foods and encouraging them to take on age-appropriate kitchen tasks can help them become more comfortable with a variety of foods. By keeping a positive approach and leading by example, you can help your children become happy helpers in the kitchen and develop healthier eating habits.