~How to Sate Your Favorite Little Picky Eater Without Cooking Two Dinners.~

No need to be ashamed! We’ve all been there – those mealtime battles with our beloved “picky eaters.”  Besides, with grocery bills still on the rise and traditional meal delivery services not fulfilling our needs, we must find another option to turn to that doesn’t disrupt our hectic lifestyles.  This nightly battle can be an exhausting aspect of parenting, but with the right tools, (AKA access to the right foods!) It can be possible to transform these struggles into opportunities.

Enter: Farm-to-Freezer our “Picky Eater Guide” which aims to provide parents with practical tips and insights on how to navigate their own little picky eater. And as bonus tips to foster a positive relationship with food and without resorting to preparing multiple meals.

Second dinners begone! We’re here to save you a little time this evening.

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Understanding Picky Eating:

Before diving into strategies, it’s essential to understand why some children become picky eaters. Picky eating is often a normal phase of childhood development, with various factors contributing to a child’s reluctance to try new foods. Sensory sensitivities, fear of new textures, and a desire for autonomy are just a few reasons why children may resist certain foods.

1: Create a Positive Mealtime Environment:

The ambiance during meals plays a crucial role in shaping a child’s attitude towards food. Establish a positive and stress-free environment by:

  1. Avoiding pressure: Forcing a child to eat can lead to negative associations with certain foods. Instead, encourage exploration at their own pace. Take them to your freezer and let them see first hand what sort of foods are there. Assure them that food is fuel for play and go over the lithy of opinions available to them.
  2. Family meals: Studies say – eating together as a family promotes a sense of connection and makes mealtime a pleasant social activity. 
  3. Positive reinforcement: Praise and positive encouragement can go a long way. Celebrate small victories and show appreciation for their efforts!

2: Involve Them in Meal Preparation:

Incorporate your child into the whole meal preparation process to spark interest and curiosity about different foods! Children are more likely to try something they had a hand in creating. Experience the joys of Meals-in-Minutes with your little picky eater! Here’s how you can involve them:

  1. Meal selection: Show them exactly what it takes to prepare for dinner. Demonstrate Heartland’s thaw process and explain how “Frozen Food Magic” helps keep their food safe and fresh! You can allow them to help you retrieve ingredients for the meal too and show off the steps of cooking.
  2. Cooking together: While you whip it up in the kitchen, allow them to participate in age-appropriate kitchen activities, like stirring ingredients. Or even grabbing the defrosting tray from the cupboards!
  3. Meal planning: Let your picky eater have a say in the weekly meal plan. That way you can introduce variations on their favorites. And offering them choices within a predefined set of options can make them feel more in control. With Farm-to Freezer there’s less pressure and more variety, right in the comfort of your own home!

3: Introduce New Foods Gradually:

Instead of overwhelming picky eaters with an entirely new meal, introduce new foods gradually to increase acceptance. Try the following approach:

  1. One new item at a time: Introduce new food items alongside familiar favorites. This minimizes the pressure and allows the child to focus on trying one thing. With Heartland’s individual portions it’s easy to pull out their favs at any time!
  2. Small portions: And it is is good to start with smaller portions to avoid overwhelming your child. The beautiful part of being prepared with your Farm-to-Freezer spread is that they can always ask for more if they enjoy the new food! 
  3. Mix and match: With access to a variety of foods it’s easy to combine new foods with familiar ones to them. For instance, mix a new vegetable into a favorite pasta dish.

4: Be a Food Role Model:

Children often mimic the behavior of their parents, so being a positive food role model can significantly impact their eating habits. Consider the following tips:

  1. Show enthusiasm: Demonstrate genuine excitement about trying new foods. Your enthusiasm can be contagious.
  2. Eat a variety of foods: Model a diverse and balanced diet by incorporating a variety of fruits, vegetables, proteins, into your own meals. It’s easy to get stuck in a food rut ourselves, but luckily if you have a variety of food on hand, you never have to settle for monotony or worry about waste!
  3. Avoid negative comments: Refrain from making negative comments about certain foods. Instead, focus on the positive aspects of each meal and be open minded about trying new things yourself.