Thursday, August 12, 2010

How To Handle Picky Eaters

Since I started this blog I have gotten lots of questions about how to manage picky eaters.  The truth is that every kid is somewhat picky.  Kids tend to like the basic and the familiar and that's okay by me.  I don't know that I have any wise secrets to offer, only my personal philosophy on the topic.  Some may disagree, but since I get asked so often I will share anyways.  It's just an opinion- take it or leave it...

I am well aware that many moms today steer away from any processed or fried foods.  I completely understand, but I also feel that kids need to be kids and you can't make every meal from scratch.  You are not going to kill your kid with a Pop Tart now and then.  I also think there are some positive things to teach kids by not making certain foods "forbidden."  I have never had an issue with my kids enjoying an afternoon ice cream or eating a cookie with lunch.  As a result, my kids don't really get excited about sweets.  Half the time they leave the cookie on their plate after two bites. 

All that being said, my basic rule of thumb is to try to provide good balanced meals when I am cooking at home.  This is usually some protein (meat) with fruit and a veggie.  I am not going to pretend that my kids always eat it all.  In fact Mary Catherine barely eats any veggies.  I usually have to work very hard to get a few bites in.  My boys however will eat salad till the cows come home- go figure.  I put one of everything on the plate and I always make sure to have at least one familiar food on there too.  Let them eat and relax.  As for eating out, I let my kids order what sounds good- within reason people.  I am not going to waste my time or money forcing them to order something they will barely eat.  If they want the macaroni, go for it.  I lead by example and make sure to eat and cook well myself.  Beyond that try not to get too frustrated and remember that their preferences will mature as they grow up.  Good luck!

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