Having a child in your care who is a picky eater can be more than annoying as it can cause problems when out in public and at home. Handling a picky eater may require some quick thinking and careful planning to avoid an argument or a tantrum. Luckily these issues are often eased over time as you get to know the family you work for better and develop a more comfortable rapport with your young charge.
Until this relationship develops, however, here are some tips for minimizing the challenges associated with a picky eater:
Be creative – Make a tasty vegetable smoothie instead of simply putting them on a child's plate, or even mixing them in soups or sauces, can be a great way to ensure a child is eating healthily despite being a picky eater.
Involve them in the food – Getting a child involved in the food preparation process can make him or her more inclined to try a new thing. While this doesn't always work, creating foods that engage and entertain can excite a child and help him or her be more accustomed to items that he or she may otherwise refuse.
Make food fun – Learning how to arrange food on a plate in amusing designs and patterns is another way to get a child to try new things. Arranging broccoli into a "forest" with carrot knights and dragons could be an excellent way to get a picky eater to enjoy his or her vegetables!
Discuss healthy eating – Children will often be more engaged in food and less picky if they understand why eating items they may not like is important. Explaining a healthy diet and the effect it will have on a child's life is yet another way to encourage more accepting eating habits.