Do you have a picky eater at home? Do you keep buying and preparing the same kinds of vegetables and fruits because you don’t want to waste food that your family won’t eat? Well, you are not alone. Lots of families face these challenges, even when there is so much fresh produce to enjoy all around us. But there are solutions.
This summer, Finger Lakes Eat Smart New York is running a campaign to provide you with ideas, recipes and tools to help your family enjoy fresh, as well as frozen or canned, produce — to make it easy to “grab the good stuff.” Sometimes new foods take time, and kids — and adults — don’t always take to new foods right away. But patience works better than pressure.
Here are some tips you can try at home with your children (or other picky eaters in your home).
Offer new fruits and vegetables many times, served a variety of ways. Not sure how to prepare a new vegetable or fruit? Farmers know delicious ways to use their products and are a great resource for food prep tips and recipes. Or, you can search for healthy and affordable recipes and a fruit and vegetable database on our website (grabthegoodstuff.org).
Give your kids just a taste at first, and be patient with them.
When you offer new vegetables and fruits, let them choose how much to eat. Kids are more likely to enjoy new foods when eating them is their own choice. It also teaches them how to be independent.
Let them learn by serving themselves. Have them take small amounts at first. Assure them they can get more if they’re still hungry.
Lastly, let your children see you enjoying fruits and vegetables during meals and snacks. Keep meal time upbeat and stress free.
Look for the Grab the Good Stuff logo on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Pandora for more ideas, recipes and tools, including a farmers market and curbside market locator. Or, simply visit grabthegoodstuff.org. Find a new way to prepare a vegetable or fruit you enjoy, and share your enthusiasm with everyone at the table.
Maggie McHugh is a senior nutritionist with Finger Lakes Eat Smart NY at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Wayne County.