It's a frustration almost every parent knows. It's mealtime. And nobody is eating.
Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and Marcus Autism Center registered dietitian Rashelle Berry - a mother of two - has been there. Berry says, "Most children, at some time in their lives, show signs of picky eating."
It's easy to get frustrated. You work all day, pull together a meal, and then your child refuses to eat what's on his plate. Berry says try to remember that you and your child each have a role to play. She explains, "So, it is the parents responsibility to offer the food. It's the child's responsibility to determine if they're hungry and how much they are going to eat."
And sometimes you may have to offer a new food over and over - up to a dozen times - before a picky eater will accept it. Berry says shoot for a daily balance of fruits and vegetables, proteins, starches and dairy products.
She says, "Make sure that the plate has foods from at least three food groups on it. That it looks like a meal. And I often try to pick a food that I know my child will definitely like and then a food that might be new and a little bit harder for them. So that there's some balance on the plate. So they can still have some sort of success with every meal."
Berry says if you're child refuses to eat a certain food, let it go, and try step back and look at the bigger picture. She says, "If you're child looks healthy, if they're growing well, gaining weight appropriately. Then you can know as a parent you're doing everything you can at this moment."
If your child is rejecting whole food groups, Berry says that's more concerning. She recommends working with your pediatrician to make sure the child isn't suffering from a vitamin or mineral deficiency.
Berry says if your child is just selective, keep trying and give it time. She says, "Children are going to learn eventually to start loving some foods that they're not loving at three years old."