When you have kids who are on a paleo diet, it can be a difficult adjustment. This can be even more difficult when your paleo eaters are also picky eaters. Just switching from sweets to fruit as snacks and incorporating more vegetables into their lunches and dinners can be a struggle. If you are feeling frustrated and overwhelmed trying to get your little one to enjoy their paleo foods, here are some easy tips to help you tame the picky eater.
Make Eating Fun
If your child is a picky eater, start introducing paleo foods in a way that makes it fun for them. If they don’t like fruits and vegetables simply cut them up, consider cutting them with cookie cutters to make fun shapes. Instead of boring square-shaped pieces of cucumber and carrots, they now have stars, insects, airplanes, and trucks. Make meals and snacks with a lot of different colors, instead of just green vegetables and boring meat. You can also give them some paleo-approved dipping oils and sauces to spice up their meals a bit.
Utilize Foods They Already Like
Getting any child to eat paleo can be difficult when their previous diet was a lot more flexible. In this case, a picky eater will give you an even bigger problem. With picky eaters, it is best to start introducing paleo diets very slowly by using some of their favorite foods in meals. For example, you might want to start by adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet. With a child who loves cereal, you can gradually introduce fruit by adding fruit slices to the cereal or using their cereal in a homemade trail mix or snack mix. For vegetables, start adding small pieces of vegetables to their favorite chicken dish.
Introduce New Foods Slowly
When giving them brand new foods they haven’t had before, do so slowly and gradually. A picky eater needs to try new foods on their own and in their time. It helps to have them look at the food, smell it, touch it, and taste it. If you want to make a salad with vegetables they haven’t tried before, let them see, smell, and touch all the vegetables before you cut them up. Have them sit at the counter while you cut up the vegetables and give pieces to your child to taste. Give them paleo-friendly dressings or dips to try the vegetables with. If you want to introduce new meat, let your child choose what to eat the meat with, such as their favorite vegetable or side dish.
Make sure you are not completely depriving your picky eater of the foods they love. If you move your child too quickly into a paleo lifestyle, it will make the transition much harder on you and them.