Picky Eaters Everywhere
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It seems like every child is picky in what they eat - you’ll have to get through it.
One week, your child may eat anything that you put down in front of them. Then the next week they may have completely shut off trying any new food that you give them. While not every child is a picky eater, it seems like most will go through a phase where they simply don’t want to try anything new and simply eat the things they like. While it’s frustrating, you’ll have to work through it with them.
You likely know what foods your child likes - they’re probably asking for them for every meal. Some kids are on the extreme end, and they only like 3 or 4 foods max. Other kids are less picky, but still want the same foods all the time. Knowing what your child likes, and giving them those foods on occasion is totally fine. It’s when that’s all that you’re giving them that it really becomes a problem.
Don’t give your child whatever they want for every meal - you’re only bound to make the problem worse by doing so. If your child chooses not to eat, then they choose not to eat. They will ultimately eat. Be persistent in not giving in to their requests and simply let them decide if they’re going to eat the food you provide or not. If they end up not wanting to eat it, then move on to the next meal.
That doesn’t mean that you should be forcing them to eat or providing gross options to them. Just because you think that they should eat brussel sprouts or cooked spinach doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t give any other options as part of the meal. Make sure you provide decently well-balanced meals and provide options for the meal (meaning protein, vegetable and carb as part of the meal).
Kindly ask your child to try each of the items being served for the meal, and then let them choose what to eat. Forcing a child to eat is a great way to make them even more resistant - they’re not going to want to eat more food that they already decided they don’t like when you tell them they have to. Just the opposite, they’ll dig in even further and likely won’t give the food a chance in the future.
If you find that your child is not eating at meal time, but is eating everything they can at snack time, then it’s time to do away with snack time. Either that or make sure you’re providing a well-balanced snack. Do vegetables for snacks instead of things like cookies or crackers. If they’re filling up on carrots and celery, then you know that they’re getting healthy food into their body.
Eventually, kids will start to eat more if you keep at it. It may take several years to get there, but if you’re consistent and don’t give in, then it will happen much faster. Sure, they may not love every meal, and they may not be ecstatic about the food all the time, but they will eat, and eventually they’ll stop complaining every time they sit down at a meal. They may still say they don’t like it, but they may just eat it anyways.
Picky eaters make mealtimes really difficult. Be persistent in feeding them the foods that you prepare, and let them not eat if they so choose. In the long run it will pay dividends.