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Why Picky Eating Can Be Good for Kids

Do like Siskel and Ebert. Encourage your child to try a new food by asking her if it's "thumbs up," says Sarah Lawhun, a dietitian with the Healthy Kids, Healthy Weight program, in Cleveland. She gives a thumbs-up if she likes it, thumbs-down if she doesn't. She'll feel in control -- and be more likely to try something new.

Chart it. It can take at least ten tries for a kid to like a new food. Make a list of each one, and let her draw faces to match what she thought on each try. Note the progress.

Have her help. If she helps make the healthy snack, she's more likely to eat it. Fruit kebabs are easy and fun!

Explain why it matters. You can't watch her every moment to make sure she eats right. Tell her that sugary snacks taste good but don't keep her body strong.

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