When you have a picky eater in the family, every meal becomes the least favorite time of day. The kids won’t even look at the salad you prepared and they are making faces at the casserole you baked. It seems as though the only things your picky kids will eat are chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese.

You want to do the right thing, but know it’s going to be a big battle. So you reluctantly push the salad and casserole aside and pop some chicken nuggets in the microwave.

Kid Scholars Academy, your daycare center in Sugar Land, offers tips and strategies to get your kids to eat healthier.

Lead By Example

Your kids are largely influenced by their environment. This includes media, family and cultural influences. But most of all, kids are influenced by their parents. This means you are the one who needs to set a great example. And you can do this by watching what you do and what you eat.

So if you kids are at the kitchen table doing homework, they will probably see you scarf down those two slices of cake and wash it down with a Mountain Dew. It is a better idea to have a banana and glass of water instead.

Don’t Force the Issue

You can offer your picky eater all sorts of healthy options, but you cannot force them to eat any of it. A better approach is to only offer them one choice at a time. And if they don’t want to try it, forget about it for the time being and let it go.

But keep trying until you discover something they will try and may even like.

Let the Kids Help You Cook

Kids are far more likely to give food a chance if they helped make it. Kids are able to help out by doing basic tasks like measuring ingredients, tossing a salad or stirring the contents of a bowl.

As they are performing these fun tasks, they see first-hand how a meal is prepared. The payoff is often a picky eater eating what they helped you make.

Snack Smart

Snacks are fun for the entire family and should always be encouraged. But it is important that you hand out healthy snacks.

It is all too easy to give a child a cookie, but a handful of nuts is a better choice.

Plate Control

Most parents don’t give their children any plate control. Let them exercise their independence by allowing them to serve themselves. Just make sure you give them healthy choices.

Plenty of Choices

The choice between celery with peanut butter and apple slices may not seem like much, but it gives children the autonomy they so crave. Your picky eater might be more excited to eat something healthy if they think they picked it out themselves.

Dip It

If your kids won’t eat vegetables, experiment with condiments and other dips. Your kids might totally dog carrot sticks dipped in hummus.

For more information about enrollment, contact Kid Scholars Academy.