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Ask An Expert: How To Give Your Picky Eater More Healthy Foods

Nutritionist Christine Miller specializes in dietary counseling, integrative nutrition and lifestyle coaching and is a Licensed and Registered Dietician with the state of Florida. She uses science-based natural therapies as well as traditional diet therapies to tailor nutritional therapies that address the root imbalances in a client's health. Ms. Miller works with both teenagers and adults.
Mr. Moe's Restaurant & Bar

Christine E Miller MS, RD/LDN, CDE
Advanced Nutrition Concepts
9512 Cavendish Drive
Tampa, FL 33626
(813) 340-3084

Christine Miller provides personalized nutrition counseling for teenagers and adults. Her approach to nutrition is based on science-based natural therapies and traditional diet therapies. Ms. Miller graduated from Texas Woman's University in 1991. She is licensed by the State of Florida and has been providing nutritional counseling for over 20 years.


According to nutritionist Christine Miller, children need to be exposed to a healthy food item up to 20 times before they finally accept it as a part of their diet. For example, even if the picky eater doesn't eat the healthy food right away, keep serving that food and eventually they will realize that it is going to continue to be there and should they start eating it. As Ms. Miller says, "don't give up" after the first few attempts to introduce a healthy food item.

Take At Least One Bite

Encourage the picky eater to try just one bite. Ms. Miller states that children often use food as a way to exert their autonomy. Have the kids take at least one bite of the new, healthy food before they eat the foods that they like. Always provide foods that the children are familiar with as a means to encourage them to eat the foods they are unfamiliar with.

Practice What You Preach

Nutritionist Christine Miller also said that it is important for parents to lead by example when it comes to getting picky eaters to eat more healthy foods. For example, if a parent does not eat spinach or broccoli, the picky eater may see that as an excuse for not eating spinach or broccoli themselves. If a parent wants the child to eat healthy, then the parent must also make healthy food choices.

Related: Tips For Traveling With Picky Eaters

Everyone Eats The Same Meal

Some parents make the mistake of preparing a separate meal for a picky eater. Ms. Miller explained that the parent who prepares only food that the picky eater likes is encouraging the picky eater to only eat certain foods. Parents who stress to the picky eater that they must eat the food placed in front of them generally do not have to deal with picky eaters.

Dress It Up

Instead of serving just plain broccoli, spread a small amount of cheese sauce on top of the broccoli. Or lay the broccoli in the plate around some peas and tell the picky eater that the broccoli are trees and the peas are the nuts that fell off the trees. Another way to dress up the healthy food is to provide more than one healthy food, like carrots and peas or other color combos which could be arranged on the plate to make the plate appear more colorful and more appetizing.

Related: Ask a Chef: Best Back To School Lunch Recipes

Katherine Bostick is a freelance writer covering all things Tampa Bay. Her work can be found on


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