I recently read a post from the Manic Mommies about picky eating. I was a picky eater. Just ask my Mom (feel free to comment on my pickyness, Mom). So, I speak as one who has been on the other side. There was nothing my Mom could do to get me to try something. My husband still has a hard time getting me to try things! I have definitely picked up a couple things about how to get your kids to eat, since I know what I may have fallen for.
- Don’t make food such a big deal. If your child does not want to eat what you have made for them, then they don’t need to eat. Trust me, your child is not going to starve themself. Don’t force the issue. Don’t MAKE them eat it. If they don’t want it don’t worry, let them go, just don’t make them something else to eat. If they don’t want to eat what is for dinner, it’s fine, they just don’t get anything else. Save the leftovers, and if they are hungry later in the night, dinner is still waiting for them. Don’t make them eat it for breakfast too though. That is what was for dinner, if they don’t eat it that night then they shouldn’t be forced to try to eat it the next day. The key here is to not put such a big emphasis on dinner. This will eliminate any power struggles that your child is trying to “win”.
- Make stuff they like. Every so often make something that you know they will like, or even let them help you with the menu planning like I stated a couple of weeks ago. This will help ensure that they really won’t starve themselves, and will help them to see that dinner can be yummy and fun!
- Eat with your eyes. For me, if it looks good enough I will be tempted to try it regardless of what is in it. Keep this in mind as you are preparing food for your picky eater. Make it look as appealing and appetizing as possible. Figure out the foods that they do like and see what about those makes them look good to your child. Then try to mimic the look. Like if your child will eat anything with cheese on it, put some cheese that will complement the meal on the food. Or if your child will eat anything with ketchup (ahem TJ), then let them use ketchup. At least they are eating the meal right?
- Eat together. Maddie usually won’t take a bite of something new until she has given me a bite from her plate. Also when she sees me eating the same thing sitting at the table with her, she will start chowing down too… and usually requests more even before she has finished hers (taking all of my food away!). When you eat together, make sure to turn off the distractions and have an actual meal. I know that Maddie rarely eats well if the TV is playing too.
So you don’t have to worry about your picky eater anymore. Trust me, I was one, and I’m still alive, I promise!
Here’s a recipe even the pickiest of eaters will love!
Recipe of the Week
3 1/4 Cups Flour
5 Tsp. Baking Powder
2 Tsp. Salt
4 Tbsp. Sugar
3 Cups Milk
12 Tbsp. Shortening (Melted, Butter flavored is preferred)
2 Tsp. Vanilla
1 Tsp. Ground Cinnamon
Mix all ingredients together until blended, batter will be lumpy
Pour into buttered waffle iron with 1/2 Cup.