Don't let picky eaters ruin your holidays

Published on Monday, November 19, 2018

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 Don't let picky eaters ruin your holidays

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It's every parents' niightmare: you sit down to a holiday meal with family and friends, and your picky eater throws a mealtime tantrum. Many parents give in and serve kid-friendly dishes (dry cereal and chicken nuggets, anyone?) on the side, reinforcing the picky eating and risking eye rolls from their guests. 

For 35 years, Chef Gigi Gaggero has coached thousands of children and adults in how to cook (and eat) better. She has six proven tips to ensure you and your picky eater enjoy the holidays without drama.

 For example, most picky eating is about power and control. Rather than ceding control at the dinner table, Chef Gigi recommends:

  1. Let your child get involved with the menu creation. Kids are more likely to eat what they help prepare.
  2. Expose your child to upcoming holiday flavors in advance, so there are no surprises.
  3. Bribing and coaxing backfire. They teach children to create lists of negative and positive foods, where healthy foods are only viewed as a means to a dessert.
  4. Don’t disguise vegetables. Once children catch on, they become suspicious of all home cooked meal
  5. Don’t threaten consequences.
  6. Avoid negative comments about food and eating habits. This is a surefire way to foster an unhealthy relationship with food and eating.

  CHEF GIGI GAGGERO is a nationally recognized expert in children’s culinary education. She is the Former Dean and Academic Director of Le Cordon Bleu’s Hospitality Management Program, and founder of Kids Culinary Adventures, a professional culinary school for children and teens. She has appeared in a variety of broadcast media outlets, has been a frequent guest on Radio Disney, and is a regular contributor to numerous parenting and health magazines.



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