Anyone else enter motherhood with determination that your child will always eat their vegetables and try all foods without complaint? No way will my kids be picky eaters. They will joyfully try everything I serve them. I was a finicky kid, but I know my kids will be more opened minded!
Please don’t tell me I was the only delusional one.
My oldest child is now seven, but even during those first few attempts of eating vegetables the only one he would really eat was carrots. In fact, he ate so many pureed carrots at one time that his nose temporarily had a tinge of orange to it (true story). It’s not like we didn’t try as many different foods as possible. He also loved bananas, which he now hates. Kids change and have their own opinions. It’s part of who they are and growing up.
I don’t like to think my kids are picky, but dinnertime these days feels like a constant negotiation. Our four-year-old is actually quite open to eating and trying almost anything we put on her plate. However, the faces and comments our seven-year-old makes quickly manipulates the four-year-old’s mind. It didn’t help that someone told our seven-year-old that your tastebuds change every seven years, subliminally giving him permission to stop liking our current food favorites. (By the way, taste buds don’t change every seven years, just in case you have to ever defend yourself at the dinner table.)
Let’s face it. Mealtime with picky eaters can be very exhausting. As a mom, we are doing our best to feed our families. We want what’s best for our kids, but sometimes trying to make sure they are always eating their vegetables (or anything at all) is a battle we don’t want to fight. Helping your picky eater goes beyond how many vegetables they eat every day. It’s about encouragement and persistence.
5 Tips to Help your Picky Eater:
- Try serving vegetables both raw and cooked. The variety in taste and texture can make a big difference to kids.
- Don’t be afraid to spice things up – literally. Adding spices as simple as salt and pepper can help enhance food flavors.
- Let them dip. Dipping food in a condiment of choice can help kids enjoy dinnertime more.
- Celebrate what they do like. Include them in your meal planning. Ask them what they would like to try and which meals are their favorites.
- Be aware of your opinions. It’s ok to not like everything, even as an adult, and being mindful of how we talk and act about food impacts our families.
Bonus: If your kids try something you think is weird and they love it, let them keep eating it! When both of my kids were toddlers they would climb up by me while I was chopping onions. They would grab a raw ring off the cutting board and gobble it down. Yes, full rings of raw onions. Gross, right? But I never said a word, even though I was dying inside. I smiled and let them have it. They eventually grew out of that but will now eat onions chopped up in things with no issue. They’ve come a long way, unlike their picky-eater mom who only ate cereal and toast as a child.
Hey, we all can change eventually, right?
How have you overcome your picky eater challenges? Share with us below!