My four-year-old is a rather picky eater. I’m lucky that his finickiness is pretty well-rounded – for example, he adores green beans and ham and brown rice and strawberries. But it also means that if I serve anything outside of his favorites, it is a tough battle to get my picky eater to eat dinner. Any kind of casserole tends to be a challenge. Even spaghetti is starting to cause issue if I use a “chunky” sauce or there’s too much meat. Getting him to eat peas or oranges is like pulling teeth.
The hard part about my kid is that he’s already thin and he’s one of those kids that will happily go to bed hungry every night. So while I appreciate the well-meaning suggestions that I just make him sit with the plate for a few hours or send him to bed hungry, that’s not going to work. He’ll just wake up and eat a huge breakfast.
Then I realized that on days I sent leftovers to school, he ate less. He asked me if he could have a sandwich instead of leftover pasta. And it clicked that my small guy HATES leftovers.
So that night at the dinner table while he picked over his meatloaf, I smiled and told him that if he didn’t eat what was served, it would reappear in his lunch box the next day. So if he wanted his beloved peanut butter and jelly sandwich, he better eat up.
He practically licked the plate clean and while I’ve had to remind him every night, I’m the one that is eating the leftovers at lunch while he enjoys a nice sandwich.
Do you have any neat tactics for getting your picky eater to eat?
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