4 Ways to To Help Your Picky Eater
This post was written by Pediatric Dietitian Danielle Zold RDN, CLC
Are you concerned about your kiddo’s nutrition? Are you sick of the mealtime battles and the “one more bite” pleads? Do you wish mealtimes could be a bit more peaceful?
If you said yes to most of these questions, chances are you most likely have a picky eater at home.
And... you came to the right place!
I’m Danielle, a pediatric registered dietitian and picky eater expert. I am so excited to be joining forces with Renzo’s to help more families and their picky eaters learn to love food (or.. at least try food).
When it comes to feeding your Picky Eater, here are my top 4 recommendations:
1) Take Responsibility.
The Division of Responsibility is a term coined by Registered Dietitian and Family Therapist Ellyn Satter. The Division of Responsibility (also called DoR) outlines the role of the parent and the role of the child.
This set of responsibilities are meant to decrease stress at mealtimes. In the DoR, the parent is responsible for what, when, and where food is served. The child is responsible for how much and whether they are going to eat. That’s it!
2) Create the Right Mealtime Environment
So, you might be thinking: “ if my job is to offer food, at a certain time, in a certain place… what should I be offering them?”
The general guideline is one tablespoon of food from each of the food groups, per year of age. Kids are generally good at self-regulating. When examining your child’s intake, try to look at the whole week. If your child doesn’t eat great at one meal, but eats more than average at the next meal, they are probably doing just fine!
If your child is still growing consistently, you can trust that they are eating enough. Try to make sure your kiddo is eating at the place you choose (table), at mealtimes you choose (3 meals + 2 snacks per day for kids 1+), with foods you offer.
3) Make Meals Fun
When I am seeing a new family for the first time, I always ask one important question: who is your child as a person? What makes them who they are? Take a moment and think about your own child’s personality, skills, and preferences. Is he interested in cars? Does she love painting and drawing? How can we use those skills to make eating fun?
There are LOTS of ways to make meals fun and to tap into your children’s imaginations. We can use food to draw, paint, dip, dunk, and arrange to make it more exciting. The more creative, the better!
That green thing on the plate isn’t broccoli, it’s a little tree!
Those aren’t seeds, they’re sprinkles!
That’s not a carrot. It’s a paintbrush to dip into your hummus!
That’s not celery. It’s a car!
4) Ask For Help (if needed)
If you’re concerned about your kiddo’s growth because your child is eating less than 20 foods or maybe even avoiding whole food groups, it may be helpful to meet with a dietitian. Registered Dietitians are nutrition experts who can help ensure nutritional adequacy and make sure your child is getting everything needed to grow and thrive. They can also help give ideas to help your child learn to want to eat.
If you feel like you need additional support, please check out my website. I am available for 1-1 consultations at pickyeatingdietitian.com or email@example.com.
If you still have questions and/or would love to learn more, join Renzo's Subscribe & Save Program where you'll have access to a monthly LIVE zoom call with Danielle!
Join now here!