Dietitian gives tips for picky eaters - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Dietitian gives tips for picky eaters

(NBC) - Jaimie Davis, a professor at the USC Childhood Obesity Research Center, a registered dietitian and most importantly, a mom, said her 3-year-old son was a picky eater.

Parker refused to eat his broccoli, but not anymore.

Davis used a variety of strategies to help curb picky eating, and came up with some tips to help.

Davis said research shows that a child needs to try a new food seven to 14 times before developing a taste preference for it. She said introduce the food for seven straight days and you'll see your child learn to start to like it, and it will become normal for them.

"Don't buy wilted stuff or canned stuff," said Davis. "Buy fresh in-season fruits and veggies. They're going to taste sweet, very yummy."

Davis said combining vegetables with the favorite foods is an easy way to get them to eat them.

"Children like quesadillas. They like cheese and bread," Davis said. "So add some veggies to those quesadillas. Same goes for pizza or any other favorites. "

Davis also suggested making mealtime fun by eating together as a family and playing games.

"You want to make it a fun, pleasant environment for them and not something that they have to do," Davis said.

Planting a garden with your kids is not only eco-friendly, but the kids will enjoy it.

"When my son harvests from the garden, it's extremely powerful. The fact that once he grows something, he gets to eat it, and it's something he enjoys," Davis said.

Being persistent doesn't mean forcing kids to eat, instead, use encouragement.

Making it fun, and getting them involved is key.

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