Many parents worry about what their child is eating or not eating. Here are three tips and tricks to prevent mealtime battles.

The first E is to expose. Expose means provide opportunities for your kids to get used to unfamiliar foods, this is a great way for your kids to begin to makes friends with vegetables because vegetables are always tricky right ?.

This might include activities outside of the kitchen or your traditional mealtime area, such as gardening or going to the produce aisle or Farmers Market. Another great way to get kids curious about vegetables is by reading about them. Research suggests that by reading about food, children are more inclined to eat them. Small routine changes such as going to the supermarket may help your picky eater become more adventurous with food. Our job as parents and speech pathologists is to gently encourage kids, which brings us to the next big E.The second E is exploration, this is a more hands-on approach. Creating and cooking with different food groups will provide your kids with exposure to new food groups and get them connected. Remember when you were young and you used to make mud pies in the backyard? This is a similar concept just with real food in the kitchen. It’s using new foods in crafty and creative ways with your kids. Making zucchini spaghetti pasta or making smoothies with lots of different fruits and berries.  You could even make pictures out of food.

The Third E is expand, this means get your kids involved and have fun with food. Keeping it fun is the key. Involve your kids in as much food preparation as possible. There will be times when after-school activities, homework and school productions may take priority, but when you’re at home on the weekends or have a spare five minutes in the supermarket expose, explore and expand your child’s mind and have fun with food.