Saturday, November 23

How to Grow a Non-Picky Eater

Is there anything quite more frustrating than a child who doesn't want to eat anything you put in front of him? Not even a nibble! I know of this frustration very well. Not only am I (unintentionally) raising a picky eater, I grew up being a very selective eater myself. Unfortunately, I can't blame my child's eating habits on genetics. Whether I want to admit to it or not, I'm the one who has created these picky tendencies of his.

Like I said, it was definitely unintentional. I don't know of any parent who purposely trains their children to eat a diet based on a food pyramid of goldfish, gummy bears, and fruit loops. Maybe you thought it would just be "for this one time" or "just to keep him quiet". Before you know it, you get further and further away from that bright shining window of opportunity when your little baby will put just about anything in his mouth (even when it doesn't belong there)!

Some of you reading this right now might have a picky eater at home who is 3, 10, or entering the teen years. You might be thinking, "Great, I've long since passed that window of opportunity. I guess there's no hope for my child now." Stop thinking that nonsense right now. If your picky eater is still living under your roof, there's still hope!

I'm by no means an expert, but I have quite a bit of experience in the arena of gradually changing the habits of my toddler. It's not an 3-day "quick fix" but it is attainable. That's why, as a mother who can totally sympathize with the feeling of wanting to wave the white flag each time I sit at the table to eat with my child, I want to share with you 10 techniques that I have tried which have proven successful while trying to help my child enjoy a broad range of foods.

1. Make sure you're child is eating what you're eating. No more cooking a healthy meal for the whole family and then throwing some chicken nuggets and fries in the oven for your picky eater. If you want your children to eat a wide range of foods, then serve them the same plate of food that the rest of the family is eating. Plus, you don't need that added stress of cooking two different meals. Picky eaters will never try new things if you're constantly serving them only the foods they prefer to eat.

2. Eat at least one meal a day together as a family. Just one. If you want to gradually add to the number, that is completely up to you. Also, notice I said meal not dinner. If dinner is the meal that the whole family can eat together at the table, so be it. However, that's not always doable for every family. There are numerous reasons why eating a meal together around a table is beneficial but I'll focus on one benefit for this post: you are modeling to your picky eater how everyone at least tries everything on their plate. Allow your picky-eater(s) to observe how everyone else at the table is eating (and how it's not killing them)!

To read the rest of my tips, head on over to Cropped Stories where I am now an official contributor! I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments on the topic of picky-eaters :-)

Do you have a child or children at home with a very selective choice in foods? How do you get your children to try new foods? Raise your hand if you've experienced hair loss during the process of getting your child to just take a small bite of something new ;-)

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1 comment:

  1. Great advice! I thought a couple of months ago that we would just try again with kid number 2 but when we started offering him only what we were eating it got a lot better. I have been told that if you just run in the kitchen for the strawberry yogurt or cereal at the first sign of a fit, they are never going to learn. He has had some meals where he didn't eat much, but he was OK. haha