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Nutrition Corner: Best Practices for Picky Eaters

If you are a parent of a toddler or school age child, you likely have encountered some selective or “picky” eating. This is very common at this age! It takes an average of 10 times of trying a food for the taste buds to begin to enjoy it. So, do not stop trying! Here are the best practices for addressing pickiness at the kitchen table:

  1. Eat together. Kids are much more likely to eat a new food if they see the rest of their family eating it too.
  2. Make them the chef. Give kids a simple task in the meal preparation process: tearing lettuce, mixing ingredients, or even chopping with dull knife for older kids.
  3. Help kids interact with new foods. For new or unliked foods, ask questions like “What does it look like?” “What does it smell like?” “What does it feel like?” and “Does it have a sound?”. The more kids can interact with their food, the more likely they are to try it.
  4. Create a neutral eating environment. Avoid positive or negative messages around food.
  5. Offer one new food at a time. Serve something that you know that your child likes along with the new food. Offering more news foods all at once could be too much for your child.
  6. Offer choices. Instead of saying “Do you want the green beans?” ask “Would you like green beans or broccoli?”


Greek Orzo Stuffed Peppers


  • 4 yellow, orange and/or red bell peppers
  • ½ cup whole-wheat orzo
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 6 ounces baby spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • ¾ cup crumbled feta cheese, divided
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, (not oil-packed), chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar, or red-wine vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  1. Halve peppers lengthwise through the stems, leaving the stems attached. Remove the seeds and white membrane. Place the peppers cut-side down in a large microwave-safe dish. Add 1/2 inch water, cover and microwave on High until the peppers are just softened, 7 to 9 minutes. Let cool slightly, drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add orzo and cook until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  3. Mash chickpeas into a chunky paste with a fork, leaving some whole.
  4. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until soft, about 4 minutes. Add spinach and oregano and cook, stirring, until the spinach is wilted, about 1 minute. Stir in the orzo, chickpeas, 1/2 cup feta, tomatoes, vinegar and salt; cook until heated though, about 1 minute. Divide the filling among the pepper halves and sprinkle each pepper with some of the remaining 1/4 cup feta.

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