Is your toddler an extremely picky eater… driving you nuts?
It’s gonna happen one day.
Your little person is going to start to have preferences for food!
Just imagine though, if you KNEW what to do when that day arrived…
You coulda avoided the dreaded “Dinner Strike.”
A concept I DO NOT want to experience more than once.
For now, I’ve only really heard about it (I’d like to keep it that way thank you).
And I definitely don’t want to have to deal with that.
Now, granted that kids come in all types when it comes to eating.
There’s what you could say is a “picky” eater.
And then there are PICKY EATERS.
Know what I mean?
And no matter what kind your kid is, it’s going to take some adjusting.
Because you’re in this for the long haul my friend.
Your kid could be a picky eater for a long time!!
So we wanted to share some thoughts with you.
And some ideas to help you mentally prepare.
Because navigating the years of feeding picky mouths is one of the toughest jobs a parent can face.
That’s why we’ve cooked up a few insights to help YOU navigate the challenge that all parents (one way or another) seem to face.
Remember: You’re In Charge
I know, it can be hard to actually remember this when things get intense!
It usually goes like this:
You’re tired after a long day.
Either from work.
Or from doing stuff around the house.
It’s taken all your energy to get dinner prepared.
Everyone’s sat down for dinner.
You get the wee one’s plate prepared.
You can finally catch your breath.
They don’t want to eat a BITE.
They don’t even want to touch it.
All they want to do is get down and crawl all around you while you and the rest of the family are trying to eat dinner.
It can be maddening.
ESPECIALLY if it starts to become a pattern.
That’s why, before we talk about any of our other ideas…
You gotta remember the first rule of them all:
You’re the boss.
You’re the parent!
YOU! Are the one in charge.
Over and over again. So you will…
Be Ready For When They Say: “YUCK!”
I’ll tell you this.
When they first start to react (negatively) to the food they’re served?
It can be quite a shock.
Sometimes, you just have to go with it.
But sometimes, you’re gonna need to address that.
Or, if not that, then at least have a strategy.
For how you’re going to respond.
And what your long-term strategy will be.
Because habits and preferences can be – and are – formed from a young age.
The good news?
As parents, we play a pivotal role in helping those habits develop.
Getting to the bigger phase of helping your kids learn how to develop habits though, means that you’ve gotta stay calm as a cool cat when the kids are freaking out (over whatever delicious thing you’re serving for dinner).
So when they say “YUCK” – what do you say?
That’s what’s for dinner.
(or something to that effect)
They’re ALWAYS Gonna Want Fries
Now, you may be worried that they’re gonna have issues later in life?
Perhaps from being a picky eater when young?
All the more reason to be firm now.
Having some routine here can really help.
Feed the little one the SAME thing everyone else is having for dinner.
If they don’t want it, they don’t have to eat it.
… But they’re NOT gonna get something else as a reward.
Before you do this though, you may want to ask:
Are they getting enough protein?
Is it a texture preference?
And other similar questions.
Because one of these could be the culprit.
Their Taste Buds & Palate WILL Change
The longer you let ’em pick their own foods, the more time it takes for their palate to UNLEARN those habits.
It can be hard to introduce new foods.
So try this:
Consider keeping one “SAFE Food” around and on rotation when you’re mixing in new things.
That way, there’ll at least be something familiar if they don’t try the new stuff.
Know that persistence will pay off on your part.
If they’re having a tough time and don’t feel like it.
Try again the next day.
Maybe tomorrow will be the day they decide to love it?
And if not, come back here as we’ll be writing more about picky eaters in the future!
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