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Parenting advice for dealing with picky eaters

Author John Thompson
Submitted 15-12-2009

You either have one or know one well: a picky eater who only eats chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese or some other "kid" food. But there are ways for fathers to break the cycle and cure their kids of their fussy ways.

One parenting advice tip from the Mayo Clinic is to be patient with new foods. Childhood nutrition experts say many children need to be offered a new food as many as 18 times before they’ll actually try it. Offering foods in creative ways, like cut into interesting shapes or serving vegetables with dips you know your kids like, may also help.

Parents should avoid offering sweets as a reward or bribing their kids to try new things. Penn State researcher Leann Birch has found that when kids are "paid off" to eat certain foods, they will ultimately develop a dislike for those foods, according to Health.com.

The most important thing fathers can do to help their kids become healthier eaters is to model good eating habits themselves. Make sure to eat all the foods you want your children to and they’ll eventually follow suit.

If you’re worried your child isn’t getting enough nutrients due to a limited diet, try being "sneaky" by hiding healthy foods in things they already like. Adding extra vegetables to sauces and casseroles won’t alter the taste but will increase nutrition in many cases.ADNFCR-1662-ID-19499919-ADNFCR