Whether you’re a foster parent with picky eaters, or have recently welcomed your adopted child home, it can be frustrating and even worrisome. Just how do you get a child to eat when they don’t want to?

Professionals could offer some important help. But if you haven’t yet gotten to the point of needing a professional, following a few tricks to help:

  • FORGET ABOUT NUTRITION. At this point, what they eat isn’t nearly as important as the fact that they eat enough. Find out what your child likes and offer it at each meal.
  • INTRODUCE OTHER FOODS BIT BY BIT. Don’t be in a big hurry. Remember, it’s getting your child to eat and to enjoy it that’s important. If you want to introduce a vegetable, try sneaking it in first. For example, you can add spinach to almost anything without changing the flavor. Foods like smoothies, pancakes and more will allow spinach without changing flavor or texture.
  • MAKE A GAME OF IT. Eating can be fun! When you add spinach to pancakes, it’ll turn them green. Read Dr. Suess’ Green Eggs and Ham before the meal. Help your child be excited about food as an adventure! Or give them a few M&Ms to put on their peanut butter sandwich. There are lots of ways to make eating fun!
  • LET YOUR CHILD DO SOME OF THE PREPARATIONS. Depending on your child’s age, he can assist with stirring or create the bulk of your meal. Sometimes, when children are involved in the preparation, their interest is increased and, WA-LA! Success!
  • SEARCH FOR KID FRIENDLY FOODS ONLINE. There are a plethora of blogs, websites, Facebook pages, Instagram accounts, and Pinterest posts that highlight kid-friendly foods. Spend an afternoon searching – maybe even with your child – to find a few recipes and presentations that will appeal to your child.

Don’t let food discourage you. Barring a medical problem, with a little creativity your child may jump right in to eating with a healthy appetite!