How to Deal With A Picky Eater

Picky Eaters! God’s gift to parents!

First and foremost, I completely understand this struggle, as most parents do.

Now, this isn’t medical advice, but one thing that needs to be ruled out for your “picky eater” is if there’s something else going on, like a histamine intolerance, that their body is telling them not to eat certain foods.

On the other hand, whether from the moment your little one tastes food for the first time or down the road when they’re being influenced by others and they suddenly don’t like something they used to enjoy, our child may be considered a picky eater.

Rule 1:

Never stop offering the things they don’t like! Cook it in different ways and even amp up how often it’s showing up on their plates. That food needs to be a normal part of their routine because once you stop offering it, there’s no way they’ll enjoy it down the road.

Rule 2:

“Game”-ify cooking in the kitchen. Turn making those healthy choices into an activity your child participates in and can enjoy with you. For example, you can let your picky eater choose 3 different vegetables (including ones they aren’t sure about or don’t like) and let them pick how you prepare them. 

Giving your child a voice in the kitchen can help them feel heard and like what they want matters. You don’t have to make it a battle to eat something healthy. Turn it into a situation where they can have some fun and control, and that lets them know you’re listening.

Rule 3:

Ask them! If your child doesn’t like something, ask them why. Was it the texture? The color? The flavor? Let them know that there are ways to fix those problems without taking the food away completely. This is another avenue to having them help you and get involved in the making of their food.

All of these things will give your child the space to feel heard and increase the likelihood of them eating the food, as well as making suggestions about what they prefer rather than just saying “no, I won’t eat that”.

Remember, focusing on an “I’m the mom, you’re the child, shut up and do as I say” approach won’t get you anywhere with your picky eater. It turns meals into punishment and then turns dessert into a reward.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, we don’t ever want to let our kids say no to everything we offer. Having a different plate from the rest of the family is giving into bad eating habits that will affect our kids for the rest of their lives.

Instead, we’re aiming for a middle of the ground approach. “Yes, I’m the mom. But I want you to be part of the family and enjoy the food as much as the rest of us are”.

That middle of the road approach keeps you in control as the parent but it gives your child space to learn about food and having control over what goes into their bodies, creating a lifelong healthy mindset toward food.

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