April 30, 2014

epic-news-san-antonio-pediatric-medical-nutrition-services-home-health-care-healthy-habits-selective-eaters-tips-fruits-vegetables-therapyIs your child a selective eater?

Eating is a social and enjoyable experience to share with others. But when you have  selective eaters in your family, that joy may quickly turn into frustration.

What can you do to help encourage your child to try new foods?

Our San Antonio therapy team shares the following tips to help you get started.

  • Establish a routine. Offer your child food at the same time each day. Routines help set parameters and let the child know what to expect.
  • Involve your child in food preparation. Allow her to open containers, count pieces, arrange food on a serving plate or choose a snack.
  • Have fun with presentation. Use fun placemats on a kitchen table or TV tray.
  • Play. Encourage your child to play with the food to ignite her curiosity. Don’t be afraid to make a mess or be silly. Follow your child’s lead!

Once you have established a routine, slowly start introducing new foods such as cheese, fruit or popcorn.

Think it might be easier said than done? A little imagination can go a long way. Here are some fun suggestions you can try:

Cut cold cheese into shapes to make faces and designs on crackers.

Chop and peel different colors and types of fruits. Cut the fruit into fun shapes and stack them from largest to smallest. Arrange the fruit on a plate in designs or themes such as in the form of a traffic light or rainbow. You might also try rolling pieces of fruit in dried coconut or graham cracker crumbs.

Add a seasoning your child typically enjoys to popcorn to make it more appetizing to her. Some seasonings you might try include citrus zest, sugar, ground cinnamon or paprika. To add even more visual appeal, dye the popcorn with food coloring.

Remember to reinforce positive behaviors by praising your child or giving her a high five or hug to let her know you are proud of her.

But most of all, remember to have fun! Bon appétit!

Corrie Cavada, M.S., CCC/SLP
Speech Language Pathologist
San Antonio, Texas

Source: Healthy Finger Food Ideas for a Selective Eater