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Whine and dine – dealing with picky eaters

Trying a new food for the first time can be surprisingly challenging for some people – especially kids. The added problem if you have children who are picky eaters is that they haven't tried much of anything, so just about any new dish you suggest for breakfast, lunch or dinner can be met with instant disapproval. Here are a few tips for coaxing your children into being more adventurous with their eating habits.

Be the example
As much as you might want it, chances are your little ones aren't capable of preparing meals for themselves. Because of this, it falls on you to encourage your children to eat well and try new foods. However, if your kids constantly see you eating hamburgers, pizza, french fries and potato chips, you're going to have a hard time convincing them to try that grilled chicken salad you prepared for dinner.

Involve them with meal planning
Kids like to exercise control over their lives whenever they can. When it comes to meal, you might have more success getting them to eat new foods if you involve them with the shopping, planning and cooking process. Ask your children to help organize a couple of meals during the week (not chicken nuggets) as well as cooking, and they'll be more open to enjoying the fruits of their labors.

Introduce new foods gradually
You might be excited to try out a recipe for the first time, but keep in mind that introducing three or four new foods to your kids all at once can be a little overwhelming. Instead, exercise patience when trying out new meals with your family. Incorporating smaller portions of food one at a time will give your children a chance to get used to them.