Oh picky eaters! There are a lot of blog posts out there about how to help a picky eater, what you can do to prevent “making” one, how you shouldn’t be a short order cook, how your kids need to clean their plates, etc, etc, etc…
There is a lot of advice about what to do when your kid won’t eat everything you give them.
I am torn on all of this advice because as a child I was a very picky eater.
I hated chicken for the longest time. I remember I would walk into the kitchen and burst into tears when I saw my mom making chicken. Now I love it. Somewhere along the way I changed the way I felt about it.
I hated pizza until I was 12. Class parties were frustrating for me. I was good and can’t even eat the prize! Then one day, I think I was at a sleepover, I tried cold pizza and it opened up my world.
I used to just put salt on my salads. Salad dressing was nasty to me. Until sometime in college when I tried it again and realized I liked it.
I hated spaghetti until sometime in the early years of our marriage my husband made some for me and I loved it. I still have to eat it with salad and bread. It’s weird, I know.
Guacamole was always on the list of things I didn’t eat until I started craving it a few years ago. Now I can’t get enough.
So when my son tells me he can’t stand chicken or hates this or that, I get it. I really do. I still remember being forced to eat certain foods when I was three years old. It was very traumatic for some reason.
I have a couple of picky eaters myself. My oldest seems to get better and better every year which is good. My middle son, we have a party when he tries a new food.
My youngest seems to be the most open to things which is great.
Am I worried about the fact that sometimes I make different foods each night? Not at all. I have some rules. Sometimes they say, “well I don’t want that tonight.” If it is a food I know they will eat, I tell them that is tough because that is what is for dinner. I want them to try things sometimes. Most of the time, the older two say they don’t like it and we move on.
It could be that I am not a big cook. I have the standard things that I make and I think my boys are pretty used to it. So trying something new isn’t exactly an easy thing to do. But at the end of the day, I want my kids to eat. If it is only one type of veggie, oh well…at least they are eating a veggie. And someday that might be two or three different types of vegetables. Sometimes it is “kid” food, sometimes it is not. That is how we roll in our house.
I think when it comes to food, you have to do what you have to do. Depending on your kids and their own needs. I have friends who have kids with serious eating issues. They work hard to make sure they are doing what they can to get the right foods. They go to food therapy and it really helps to get them to add new foods. It isn’t always as easy as serving it and making them eat it. Sometimes you have to get more creative and figure out the best way to make it work for your own family.