Making sure children get the right amount of the right foods is important. Did you know nutrition affects behavior, sleeping patterns, growth, and even brain development? A healthy diet helps children to learn:
- Make half of what is on your child’s plate fruits and vegetables
- Choose healthy sources of protein, such as lean meat, nuts, and eggs
- Serve whole-grain breads and cereals because they are high in fiber.
- Broil, grill, or steam foods instead of frying them
- Limit fast food and junk food
- Offer water or milk instead of sugary fruit drinks and sodas
Picky eating is a very typical behavior for preschoolers as they begin to assert their independence. It can be very frustrating when you have a picky eater. Try these strategies:
- Let your child be the “produce picker” at the grocery store. Let them help choose the fruits and vegetables you will take home and eat.
- Offer choices. Instead of saying “Would you like broccoli for dinner?” say, “Help me choose which vegetable we will make with dinner. Should we make broccoli or carrots?”
- Let your child serve themselves. Children are more likely to eat foods when they put their food on their own plate.
- Don’t be a “short-order cook”, making a different meal for your preschooler. Your child will be okay if they eat a little less at first.
- Let your child help in the kitchen. Children will take pride in what they have done and be more likely to eat foods they have helped prepare.
If your child continues to be a picky eater even after trying various strategies, you should consult with your pediatrician to rule out any underlying medical causes.
At Raising Arizona Preschool, we take pride on our fresh cooked meals. We are part of the Federal Meals Programs, which means we prepare and serve healthy and diverse meals. You can rest assured your child is getting healthy meals and snacks at Raising Arizona Preschool each day. We offer wide variety of fruits and vegetable daily and give children the opportunity to try new healthy foods.