Making Lunchtime Fun: Tips for Picky Eaters

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Is it necessary?

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!

For a full list be sure to check out the Mayo Clinic’s site!

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?

Photo: flickr.com/lovelihood

 

More on Troubleshooting Toddler Mealtimes: Picky eaters, choking hazards and more!

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