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Ask the Expert Archive

How do I get my child to eat more colors of fruits & veggies?

Q: My child will only eat certain colored foods at a time. Example 1 week only orange foods, next week only reds ect. I can’t get he to eat anything but the color she wants. Why? and what do I do?

A: Many children go through periods of “picky eating” where they will only eat certain foods based on color, texture, taste etc. These food jags are common among children, and are often resolved on their own.  They are sometimes caused by a food allergy, or a sensory processing disorder. Some children will fixate on foods of a certain texture, or color, that is acceptable to them at that time.  It is important to encourage variety, and be a good role model for your child.  Try some of the following tips, and consult your pediatrician for further information:

  • Prepare meals that include foods in the child’s current “color,” but think variety. Mixing in foods of different colors may trigger your child to try something new.
  • Encourage your child to help prepare the meal.  Have her/him help with the foods that are not currently an acceptable “color.”  This is a great way to introduce new foods into your child’s diet.
  • Make eating a variety of foods fun with our tips and games featuring fruits and vegetables!
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The Expert: Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN, is the President and CEO of the Produce for Better Health (PBH) Foundation. At PBH, she guides the Foundation’s efforts to advance the overall effort of increasing fruit and vegetable consumption.
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