Chances are if you have kids, you know what a picky eater is, though those that are truly very lucky skip over this entire chapter in child raising (I’m so jealous if you fall into this category!!)
I have one, that will go out of their way to not only challenge me but refuse to eat if something is mentioned at the dinner table that she doesn’t like. It doesn’t even have to be in the meal itself, it just has to be mentioned and the fork will drop, arms will cross, chin up to the ceiling with the words “I’m not eating this” flying out of their mouth and the battle has begun.
Throughout the battles each and every day, I started being sneaking about hiding things within the meal, like vegetables they’d never touch. I made funny looking pancakes and said I colored them when really, they had pureed carrots in them, piled eggs into mountains hiding the tomatoes, hid the peas into sauces, grated sweet potatoes in a cheesy casserole, shredded zucchini into muffins and so much more just to get my picky eater back on track. It worked, for the first week. Once my other kids figured out what was going on they started blurting out the items in each meal and I was back at a big fat zero, those arms cross, chin went right back up and that picky eater wouldn’t budge. That’s how it was a year ago, up until one trip seemed to change everything.
A Trip to the Store!!
Kids want to feel like they have a part in things, they want to feel important, they need to be involved. Why not involve them in the meals you cook each day? It was our own field trip. We started in the Deli, where the kids sampled meats and cheeses, picking their favorites. Working from the left to the right of the store, and skipping right over the bakery (ha) we ended up to the vegetables and fruits nearly an hour later, tasting, sampling and picking out what the kids liked the best. Not an easy task I’ll tell you that right now, but the end result was happy kids and one picky eater smiling at the idea that they picked their own food out.
My Picky Eater finally ate with no complaints! Finally a solution, once and for all the battle had ended. I won a battle, I won! I felt like jumping up and down, doing my own happy dance. Felt like it was the end of all true battles, Mom Vs. Picky Eater, over!
Or not. It’s a hit or miss a lot of days, some days it’s as if nothing changed other days it’s just the complete opposite. Kids are crazy like that. Having the kids pick out some of their food has sparked an interest on trying new things with them. It’s been a full year now trying new recipes nearly everyday, I’ve gotten into the habit of picking up a new food item each week not just making a new recipe all the time, and the kids are willing to try a lot more things as well because of it. My Picky eater surprises me at times, but we still have our battles here and there. The important thing is, they are not put off by trying new things and that’s a huge hurdle to overcome. Kids learn eating habits while they are young, I feel if they can at least try something new, they are on the right track for better eating habits as adults. In the end, it’s a win-win for all of us. 🙂
Do you battle with a picky eater? What ways do you deal with them?