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How co-parents can deal with a child who's a picky eater

Nearly all kids go through at least a phase of being picky eaters. Unfortunately, sometimes the few foods they will eat have virtually no nutritional value.

Dealing with a picky eater can be challenging and frustrating for any parent. However, when you're co-parenting across separate households, ensuring that your picky eaters get the balanced diets they need and helping them overcome their aversion to all things green and healthy can be especially tricky. It requires that parents make a plan, stick to it and communicate.

Here are a few tips for dealing with your picky eater:

  • Don't change your meal options or fix something different for your child. That only encourages the behavior.
  • Schedule your child's meals and snacks, and stick to the schedule in both homes.
  • Let your child help you grocery shop and prepare meals to the extent that's age appropriate to create interest and excitement.
  • Be creative. Cut vegetables and fruits into unique shapes. Having a selection of colorful vegetables on the plate can also make the meal more appealing.
  • Model healthy eating. Your kids should see you eating the same healthy foods you want them to eat. This may include fruit for dessert rather than ice cream or pie and vegetables as a snack rather than chips.

It's essential for parents to be consistent with these strategies in both homes. It's also crucial to communicate about what your child is and isn't eating. You can use a journal available in one of the online parenting apps if you'd rather not talk in person or via email or text.

When kids feel stressed or anxious, as they often do after their parents break up, it's not uncommon for their eating or sleeping patterns to be disturbed. If the eating issues continue, and you believe that changes in your parenting time agreement are warranted, your Arizona family law attorney can provide valuable guidance.

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