A Momma’s question was brought to my attention a couple of days ago and today I’m going to do my best to answer.
“My two year olds Doctor said that my son is underweight and that I need to feed him more. He is a picky eater and he will not eat the food I serve him. What should I do?”
Well Dear Momma my son is eight and he has always been a picky eater. And he is alive and active. I remember those visits too when my son’s Doctor would tell me the same thing. He would put me on the spot and ask me what my son eats and then lecture me. I’d go home and try to give him the suggested food and he wouldn’t eat it. I was puzzled.
Before I made any plan of action I considered the following questions and had several discussions with other moms.
Do we make him sit in his chair until he eats it? Should we bribe him with a treat? Or do we withhold desert from him while the rest of us have it?
None of these ideas fit my personality or beliefs.
And here is why?
-Well for one it usually doesn’t work for most kids. I know! I worked with 2 and 3 year olds in childcare for many years before I had my own. Toddlers are picky eaters and you can’t make them eat no matter how creative you get.
-Adults set themselves up for a challenge when they try to get their kids to eat. Kids have very few things in their life that they actually have control over. Often times they will refuse to eat just for the sake of wanting to be in charge of something. Being in charge helps children feel mighty. And who doesn’t want to feel that way? We all want to feel empowered by the choices we make for ourselves.
-It’s important to respect. We all have our likes and dislikes. My son doesn’t like his food touching. I don’t mix it and I make sure there is plenty of space between foods.
-At last I have seen kids eventually eat the food that they didn’t like. Sometimes it takes putting the same food in front of them ten times before they will try it. But it has to be in their timing.
Children will not starve themselves to death.
But there are some things we can do to encourage healthy eating!!!!
-Food is not only to be enjoyed but it’s also to fuel us and keep us healthy. Now that my son is eight I point out the nutritional value of food and I do withhold treats and desserts from him until he takes care of his body by feeding himself something healthy.
-I have learned to keep fatty foods, high carb snacks and sugar treats out of sight. Foods like this will cause kids to crave for junk food. I offer fruits, meats, nuts, and vegetables throughout the day as a snack. Kids don’t need big meals three times a day. They do better with three small meals and a couple of healthy snacks!!!
-I prefer to let kids pick the food they want to eat. For example, offer two different kinds of meat for them to choose from or two different veggies.
-Don’t offer them the food that they like when you are trying to get them to try something new. When they get hungry enough they will eat something that you have put in front of them. For example my kids love Mac and Cheese. That is all they wanted to eat until I stopped serving it all the time.
-It’s important to not make a big deal when little miss picky eater doesn’t eat breakfast. Picky eaters who are served several times a day and are given choices will eat before the day is over. If they don’t you pretty much can count on them eating the next day. Just stay calm and carry on.
-Be a good example. They watch what we eat, how much we eat, and how often. They learn from us. When we show them that good healthy food is part of our everyday life they will eventually make healthy choices for themselves. Create enjoyable family meal times and have your kid’s help you prepare it.
Don’t beat yourself up with worry. When I’m concerned about my son’s lack of nutrients I trick him. He loves shakes!!! When he isn’t looking I put kale and spinach in the blender. I blend it with strawberries, oranges, apples, yogurt, and cottage cheese. He loves it!!!
For some kids it’s just a season of picky eating and for some kids they grow up as picky eaters.
Let’s not make food a negative experience for kids by trying to guilt them into eating.
Hi I’m Lisa the creator of this blog. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your time with me. I’m a Homeschooling Mom and it is awesome. Well most of time.
I have an eight year old boy and six year old daughter. My husband and I are in love with each other and we enjoy our children.
Living in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado is amazing and God fills us with His glory daily.
I’m a writer and I blog to inspire, encourage, and help parents. Before I was married I worked for over twenty years in Early Childhood Education. I have a Bachelors in Social Work and Early Childhood.
I’m also the creator of Gathering Place For Sisters In Christ – Posts About Christian Living . Love to have you meet with me there too. I’ve been a Christian for more than forty years. I’m very thankful that Jesus is my Lord and Savior. He is indeed the King of Kings.
3 thoughts on “Picky Eaters by Lisa Brown, Parenting Tips”
I have a thirteen-year old son who has been a picky eater from the get-go. When he was 2, his pediatrician made me see a food specialist who put him on Pediasure, which he liked ok. She had all these suggestions such as dips and cheese for veggies or letting him see other toddlers eat fruits and veggies. These suggestions never worked. For a while, I snuck cauliflower into homemade chicken nuggets (his favorite food). Anyway, today he is still extremely picky but he is active and healthy. He has added a couple new foods to his limited diet, in his own time and terms. Bribes and punishments have never worked. We just make him get his own food if he won’t eat what I cook. It’s frustrating sometimes but not worth the battle. Ironically, now he will sometimes try new foods for a friend!
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Hi Camie!!! As long as our kids are active and healthy we are good!!!! Thanks for sharing. It helps me a great deal as a mom when other moms share their experiences. You have encouraged me today to stick to what I know to do with my picky eater.
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Yes, it helps to share experiences and to know that we’re not the only moms with a picky eater. So many times, well-meaning friends and family have worried about my son’s eating habits, but my husband and I have learned to let our son be in control of his eating and to help him by example and being encouraging.