Tips to help picky eaters

Pediatric Dietician Nicole Meadow, MPN, shares advice for parents on the best methods to help your picky eating child try new and healthy foods
Tips for Picky Eaters
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Tips to help picky eaters

It's very common for a child to refuse a food group, especially a food group like fruits or vegetables. The most important thing to do is to be a role model. Often times I hear, "Oh, my child won't eat vegetables." Then I ask a parent, "Well, do you eat fruits or vegetables?" and they don't. So the first and most important thing to do is be a good role model and eat the fruits and vegetables yourself. The second thing is to include the child in the process. Take them to the market and say, "Oh, let's find a red vegetable or a red fruit," and let them help pick it out, bring them home, let them wash it and prepare it. Sometimes when we offer a child a vegetable and they have no idea where it came from, it's overwhelming. Research has shown, when they are involved in the process, they are much more likely to eat it. If we involve them and let them help cook it, that helps. The other thing is offer the same fruit or vegetable every day for a week or two. Leave it on the plate and let them engage with it; lick it, touch it, smell it, all of these different things, for a week or two. Usually, by the end of that week or two, they'll eat it.

Pediatric Dietician Nicole Meadow, MPN, shares advice for parents on the best methods to help your picky eating child try new and healthy foods


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Nicole Meadow, MPN, RD

Pediatric Dietitian

Nicole Meadow, MPN, RD is the founder of NutritionWise, a nutrition consulting practice based in Los Angeles.  She enjoys working with clients in all ages and stages of the lifespan and has specialized training in working with children and families. As a trusted partner who works closely with her clients and their physicians, she specializes in medical nutrition-related issues including food allergies, diabetes (type I, II and gestational), overweight/obesity, celiac disease, feeding disorders, failure to thrive, cardiac disease, eating disorders, and others.  Nicole’s approach and philosophy are based on a client-centered model.  She looks at each client on an individual basis and develops their plan according to their specific needs.  Nicole works with her clients to develop realistic and attainable goals. 

Prior to opening her private practice, she practiced as a clinical dietitian at the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (outpatient clinics, school-based clinics, community education), at Cedars Sinai Medical Center and in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Cedars Sinai Medical Center.  

In addition to her clinical work, Nicole publishes her own newsletter, NutritionWise Monthly. She has contributed to numerous publications and websites including Healthy Child Healthy World, Breezy Mama, Parenting, The Bump, ICAN (Infant, Child and Adolescent Nutrition- a professional publication) and is a frequent speaker to local schools, corporations and the community at large. Nicole has also provided consulting services to several national food and beverage companies.  She is the founder of the San Fernando Valley Family Food Allergy Support Group and is on the medical advisory board for the Celiac Disease Foundation. 

Nicole received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Michigan and a Master of Arts Degree in Preventive Nutrition from the University of Southern California. She then completed the Dietetic Internship program at California State University Northridge.


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