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When faced with a picky eater, how do you ensure your child gets the nutrients she needs - without a fight. Our food experts offer strategies for your separatist.
See all eight picky eaters here.
The dilemma: If the mashed potatoes gently graze the salmon, or the rice dares to mingle with the beans, there's a good chance neither item will find its way onto your kid's fork. In your child's compartmentalized view of eating, foods are not allowed to mix or even touch.
The nutritional concern: You run the risk of compromising variety – and leaving wholesome foods out of the mix – to spare yourself the wrath (or the waste) of the separate food purist.
Missy Chase Lapine, mother of two and author of The Sneaky Chef: If your child is eating healthily then it doesn't matter at all if she prefers, as my older daughter does, to dip her pasta into her pasta sauce or not let the broccoli touch the rice. It may be an independence thing or a control issue. Either way, pick your battles.
Ann Cooper, nutrition expert who revamps school cafeterias around the country and coauthor of Lunch Lessons: We recognize that some children don't like food groups to touch, so we serve meals on three-compartment plates. Problem solved.
Jessica Seinfeld, mother of three and author of Deceptively Delicious: Serve courses. Start with vegetables while you fix the protein or wait for the pasta to cook. Offer the starch last – there's never any problem eating pasta or rice in our house.