Do you ever feel like getting your child to eat a variety of nutritional foods throughout the day puts you on the brink of World War 3?

While many children would love to subsist on crackers, ice cream and cookies at each meal, we know it’s important that their growing bodies receive the necessary vitamins and nutrients to thrive.  And while it’s easy to become frustrated when they turn up their noses at your efforts, we have some advice for getting your picky eater to branch out.

Tips for Serving Healthy Snacks
1. Don’t force feed.  Sharing meals together should be a place of positivity, but forcing your child to eat will create a negative association around mealtime.  Trying new foods should always be encouraged and celebrated.
2. Eat with your children. Children learn from what they see, and mealtime is a great opportunity to expel the values of healthy eating. If you want your children to try something new, show them by example that it isn’t scary.
3. Have a preferred food at each meal.  A meal shouldn’t be entirely unrecognizable food to your child.  Having a familiar, liked food generates comfort and, at the very minimum, ensures that something is ingested during mealtime.
4. Schedule meals and snacks.  Children tend to like and thrive upon routine. Once they realize they will only get food at certain times, they will be more likely to eat what they’re served.

Healthy snack options for picky eaters:

• Fruit kabobs.  Children love to eat anything that comes on a stick!  Get as creative and colorful – there are countless versions you can make to keep it fresh.
• Baked Sweet Potato Fries.  These are a great, healthier alternative to regular French fries.
• Ants on a log.  Celery, peanut butter and raisins – a triple play of healthy ingredients.  And children love the playfulness of this snack.
• Magic Wands.  Spread peanut butter on top of pretzel rods. Roll in chopped nuts or dried fruit.
• Popcorn.  Opt for fresh kernels and sprinkle with salt.  Hard to someone of any age to resist grabbing a handful!
• Smoothies.  Keep it simple and use frozen or regular yogurt. Add various fruits like strawberries, peaches, and bananas.