Family | Parenting | Food

Parents Share The 10 Tricks That Cure "Picky Eaters" For Good

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Caitie McCabe

What's the hardest thing about being a parent? Just take your pick.

A recent study crunched the numbers on an average mother's workday, and the results were pretty bleak.

Moms are regularly working 14-hour days, which adds up to 98 hours of parenting a week.

For new parents, a lot of that time is spent bargaining and pleading with their kids to eat something (or anything).

If you live with a picky eater, you may appreciate these 10 parent-approved techniques to make them eat their veggies with no fuss.

1. Pair "gross" ingredients with exciting ones

Blueberry muffins.
Steven Jackson / Flickr

So little Jimmy will not eat cheese under any circumstances, but he loves pasta?

Try mixing a little shredded cheese into his spaghetti and see how he reacts.

Kids are usually more than willing to take a chance on new food when it's mixed with something they like.

Veggie and fruit muffins or pastries are another way to sneak in healthy food.

2. Don't be a short-order chef

Nutritionist Ellyn Satter recommends splitting the workload for each meal with your kids.

Parents should take charge about deciding when and what the family eats.

Meanwhile, kids choose how much they eat (if they even touch their plate at all).

There's nothing worse than letting your child pick a meal, only to have them change their mind. Then the whole family is stuck with fish sticks.

3. Don't force your child to eat

Child eating.

Parents often find themselves in a tug-of-war with their kids at meal times.

Don't play that game: your child can eat if they are hungry, or leave food on their plate if they don't want any.

If your child isn't under pressure, they're more likely to copy your eating habits and try a little bit of everything on their plate.

Besides, it's not healthy to make kids clean their plate at every meal.

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