Raising an adventurous eater

Eating a balanced, nutritious diet is paramount to your child’s healthy growth and development.  However, after the rapid growth and calorie requirements of infancy, your child’s appetite may slow considerably, allowing him or her to be more choosey about the foods he or she eats. It is very common for kids to become picky eaters, and it can be difficult and frustrating as a parent to get them to try new and diverse foods. Fortunately, there is a lot you can do!  Follow these tips to help your child enjoy a balanced diet:

  1. Get ahead of the game.  The easiest way to overcome picky eating habits is to stop them from ever forming in the first place.  Prior to 9 months of age, your baby’s taste buds are not fully developed. Use this opportunity to introduce him to a variety of foods, flavors and textures before he establishes his preferences.
  2. Wait until you child is hungry to give her foods she have not liked in the past.  With an empty stomach and an active appetite, she may be more adventurous and may also be more apt to try new foods.
  3. Stay strong! It can be difficult not to conform to your child’s eating habits, especially if he refuses to eat what you have put in front of him.  However, it is important to remember you are the one who decides what your child will eat; she can only decide if she will eat it.  Rest assured you are not starving your child. If she is hungry, she will eat.

Find more information about feeding picky eaters in this article


Written by

Jeff Ruggeri MD Candidate Class of 2020 University of Missouri College of Medicine

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