If your child is a picky eater, the battle over healthy foods can be a challenge. Being fussy about food is common in toddlers and small children, but parents can try some tips and tricks to introduce new foods. One approach to improving eating habits is to get kids involved in the kitchen.
Involving children in meal planning and teaching kids to cook can have multiple benefits. Not only is cooking a necessary life skill, learning how to cook teaches math, science and creativity. Using fresh fruits and vegetables encourages healthy eating and children are more likely to eat food they’ve helped prepare.
Other tips include:
- Let your child pick which fruits and vegetables to make for dinner or during visits to the grocery store or farmers market.
- Read kid-friendly cookbooks together and let your child pick out new recipes to try.
- Toddlers and children can help with some cooking tasks — with supervision — including sifting, stirring, counting ingredients, picking fresh herbs from a garden or windowsill, and “painting” on cooking oil with a pastry brush.
On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, a special edition of “Ask the Mayo Mom” pediatrician and host Dr. Angela Mattke is joined by Kate Zeratsky, a Mayo Clinic registered dietitian nutritionist, and Jen Welper, Mayo Clinic executive chef, for a discussion on teaching children how to nourish their bodies with healthy foods, encouraging kids to try new foods, and getting kids involved in cooking.