There are many things to discuss on this topic, so stay tuned for the full part series on kids and picky eating. The topic of picky eaters will be explored fully to help find solutions to every question that a parent may have on this topic.
Rule #1: Do You Expect Your Kids To Eat The Same Foods As You?
Some moms have told me that their child is a very picky eater and will not eat anything that is a “healthy food.” These moms explain to me that their kids don’t like fruit, vegetables, salad, won’t eat meat, don’t like cheese, will only eat pasta with butter, like white bread, not wheat and only eat crackers for lunch etc.
The list seems to goes on and on and is typically quite detailed of what their picky eating kids will and won’t eat, at what times, how, why, when and what.
The first thing that I question to a parent who believes that their children are picky eaters is are you fine with labeling your kids as being picky eaters? Do you expect them to eat the same foods that you do? One huge indicator of a parent’s belief on the subject is do you serve the same foods to your kids that you make for your husband?
If you do not expect your kids to eat the same foods as your whole family does, then you are setting fertile ground for creating a picky eater.
Why do all kid’s menus have macaroni and cheese, white bread cheese sandwiches and pizza? Kids can love so much more if we expect that they will.
Rule #2: Assume Your Kids Will Like Adult Foods
Parents make so many assumptions of what their kids will or will not like, sometimes before their kids even try a food. For example, most parents assume their kids won’t like salad, healthy foods or ethnic food. They assume kids would rather eat ice cream then an apple.
I have fallen into this trap as well.
For some reason I had in my mind that my 2 and 3 year old kids would not like my homemade balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing for their salad. I would give them ranch dressing instead, while me and my husband ate the balsamic. Then one day I realized my limiting beliefs and let my kids try it. Come to find out, my kids LOVE balsamic vinegar and eat it as their salad dressing to this day.
If you expect that your kids will want to eat different foods then you eat, then there is a very high probability that they will.
Rule #3: Eat As Healthy As You Want Your Kids To, With Or Without Them.
Children imitate their parents with almost everything. If your child sees you enjoying a healthy cookie, a healthy breakfast, eating an apple every day for a snack, eating whole grain cereals, not using extra salt, or enjoying a delicious salad before a dinner, then you have a much higher chance of them not being a picky eater for that food.
This afternoon I took my kids out for a slice of pizza as a treat. The lunch was devoid of any fruit or vegetables at the restaurant so I said to my kids…”when we get home we can have an apple before our nap” if you are still hungry. Both of my kids said they didn’t want an apple.
I told my kids that was fine if they didn’t want an apple, but boy mommy was sure looking forward to eating a nice, crunchy apple. Within minutes, both kids changed their minds and as soon as we got home they came running into the house wanting to eat an apple.
Kids watch everything you do. Eat like you want your kids to eat and they most likely will.
Please add your comments and share your stories about challenges you have with your kids being picky eaters, what has worked and what has not!