“Picky Eaters”

Dinner Games
Benefits of Cooking With Kids

Does seeing those words in print evoke in you an emotional response?  Just typing them does for me. Oh the memories…. If you are a parent of a “picky eater”, and if we had a (large!) pot of tea, we could sit down and exchange our war stories.  Stories of defeats, conquests, lessons learned…..  Well, can we consider this cyber tea, for a moment?  I assure you I’ve “been there, done that” with regards to the creative attempts (and um, mistakes) parents of picky kids make.

picky eatersSo, how exactly do we make picky eaters eat?

You are going to love this answer…… We don’t!  I remember our pediatrician asking me if I could make our first born eat, answering no, and going home awfully frustrated that day.  I wanted a solution!  With a decade to reflect on that, I think he was wanting me to take that off of my worry list.  We can offer good choices, don’t allow empty calories as substitutes for nutrient dense items, and they WILL eat when they get hungry.  Offering….. that’s our simple responsibility.  Whew!  I worked way too hard those years.  Even a graduate degree in psychology didn’t help me learn that lesson in a timely manner.

picky eatersWhen the pediatrician followed up with, “Did he eat something from all the food groups sometime during the past week?”, I could usually answer yes, because if nothing else, he probably had peas at some point during the week.  They “pop!” in your mouth so he thought those were quite fun!  Who knew?

So, I ask you to consider a couple of things:

  • What if we eliminated the dinner table battle ground and made eating fun?  For the stubborn toddler… as well as the teenager.
  • What if we did not bring into our home any foods/drinks we didn’t want our family to consume?
  • What if we didn’t label our child a picky eater?  They are awfully proficient at living up to our expectations.  Let’s free them of that box.
  • What if we invested in a good children’s multi vitamin and stopped worrying for a week?  Are vitamins the same as real food?  No, but a variety of nutrients is essential to a growing body and it’s ok to augment nutrition.  It’s ok.

As you mull those ideas over, enjoy these inspiring fun food ideas from Pinterest.

Tomorrow we will share a recipe with a surprising ingredient that might expand your child’s list of approved foods.  Later in the week, we will share more ideas about keeping meal time enjoyable.

Until then, please know you are not alone!

Take care.

Shani

 

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Dinner Games
Benefits of Cooking With Kids

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