Tricks to Get Your Picky Eater to Eat Healthier Foods

09/May/16 / 21:32

We’ve all heard about young kids who have very particular tastes, such as those who seem to live on a diet of chicken nuggets or macaroni and cheese. But what happens when that kid is your own?


As a parent, you may be looking for ways to introduce new foods to help your picky eater expand her palate or consume a better mix of healthy foods. Check out the recipes below for ideas on how to incorporate a little more variety and vitamins on your little one’s plate.


Favorite Foods with a Twist


Want to sneak a few more nutrients into that bowl of soup or plate of spaghetti? Try slipping some chopped veggies into sauces or grated carrots or zucchini into soups.


Edible Art Snacks


You may have told your kids not to play with their food, but that doesn’t mean they (and you) can’t have a little fun with it. Encourage your picky eaters to try new foods by introducing different ingredients arranged as things such as a shining sun (using oranges, carrots and raisins), a caterpillar (tomatoes and mozzarella), a palm tree (kiwi and banana) and more.


Cheesy Spinach Squares


Spinach can be fun to eat — and taste better, too — when baked with cheese and served as finger food.


Baked Macaroni and Peas


Hard to drag your kid away from mac and cheese? This take on a classic comfort food replaces cheese with a cauliflower-based sauce. Add some peas for an even healthier spin on your little one’s favorite pasta.


Veggie Crust Pizza


Begging a picky eater to try a new pizza topping may not get you too far. Instead, why not let the kids choose their own toppings when you build pizzas on vegetable crusts? Check out these recipes for eggplant, mushroom, cauliflower and sweet potato pizza crusts that can be topped with your picky eater’s favorite cheese, sauce and toppings.


Chicken Fingers and Apple Fries


If your little one clamors for chicken fingers, you may be looking for different ways to serve them. In this recipe, corn flakes give the chicken its crisp. Try pairing them with apple fries instead of French fries.


Spaghetti and (Veggie-Infused) Meatballs


The kids can call these meatballs, but you know the truth. In addition to ground beef, they include zucchini, red pepper and onion, too, helping pack this basic meal with a little extra punch.


Of course, expanding your child’s palate may involve more than making eating fun or slipping in some undercover vegetables. Experts also suggest modeling healthy eating habits yourself. If your kids see you eating different healthy foods, they may eventually do the same, Mayo Clinic says.


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