I have a picky eater on my hands now. He went from being a human garbage can that would literally eat almost anything… to a child who wants to live on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or tater tots. Not a wide variety at all!
While I am a huge fan of peanut butter and jelly myself, and between you guys and me… I could live on it. I just cannot bring myself to let my two-year-old do the same. Although I am glad he is actually eating!
So I started to think about ways to deal with the new-found food pickiness. Do I cater to him when it comes to dinner? Do I just make one thing for dinner and then give him the choice to go hungry if he doesn’t want what the rest of the family is eating? I mean that is what my parents did with me back in the 80s. Is that still acceptable?
In my search to find out what the heck I could do with him, I came across the Mayo Clinic’s 10 tips for Picky Eaters and I wanted to share my favorite few from the site with all the readers here who may be going through the same issues I am right now!
My first favorite off the list was #1. Respect your children’s appetite or lack of. When I was a kid myself, I barely ever ate, and the more my parents pushed, the less I wanted to eat. If they don’t want to eat, don’t force them!
My childhood pediatrician used to always tell my mother:
“When she is hungry, she will eat. When she is tired, she will sleep. When she is thirsty, she will drink…”
Sounds simple, but it is some of the words I treat as gold when it comes to parenting sometimes right.
The second tip I loved was make it fun. Toddlers clearly love fun things, and if you can make your meal time a blast… maybe they will be more likely to actually eat a well balanced meal with your family?
The last tip that I really loved is don’t offer dessert as a reward. I must admit this is something I am guilty of. I am the mom who always says:
“If you don’t eat your dinner, you don’t get ice cream.”
Or whatever treat of the night we have in the house. We are a home that enjoys our dessert, and I may not be the best cook ever, but I am a pretty bad ass baker when I want to be!
So parents… what kind of tricks do you use for your picky eater?
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