This post opens up a series dedicated to helping parents with picky eaters. We all struggle with various degrees of “pickiness” in our children. We all want our children to eat nutritious foods that taste good. We all want our children to grow up adventurous and willing to try new foods. Bottom line, we want our children to appreciate and enjoy the food they eat.
My #1 tip is “be the model you want your child to grow up to be”. Yes, it is about us doing the work. Have you ever noticed yourself saying out loud, in front of your child, “I do not like this food” or “This food tastes gross” or “I could never eat this as I do not like its smell”?
Think about the impact these words have on your child. If their parent does not like that food, why would they eat it? If their parent is not enthusiastic about that food, why would they be?
I personally do not like to eat raw onions, cucumber, and celery. Many of you might think this is abnormal. I like to eat liver and other organ meats. You may also think this is abnormal 🙂 . Either way, I used to be one of the worst picky eaters. Quite the champion of pickiness. I should also add that one of my parents is very vocal about the foods they like and do not like (and there are many dislikes, especially spicy foods) and is not adventurous when it comes to trying new foods. However, my food choices slowly expanded since I moved to Canada and I had to prepare food for myself (this idea will be developed more into another post about picky eaters). Anyway, the idea that I am trying to express is that presently there are several foods I do not eat, but my children never hear me complaining about them when these foods are on my plate.
One of the few foods that my husband does not enjoy eating is liver. But he never says anything out loud when the children are present. If anything, I would tell him out loud “here, have some liver” and he would eat it while the children watch. It is a joke between us – me offering him liver when he can’t refuse because he is being watched by the kids 🙂 .
I am not saying that children should not be allowed to refuse some foods. We all have our likes and dislikes. However, when the dislikes outnumber the likes, maybe it is time for us to reassess how we express our opinions about food in front of our children.
Would do you think about this tip? Did you try it? Is it working?
Do you want to read the following tips? Here they are:
Tip #2 – Involve your kids in the kitchen
Tip #3 – Eat together as a family
Tip #4 – Make meal time enjoyable
Tip #6 – Never give up
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