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3 Tips To Combat The Picky Eater

I feel like the “picky eater”, as the phrase is coined, has become a hot button topic in the mommy world of social media. Often times I will see posts through different forums, asking for advice on how to combat their picky eater. The question seems innocent enough. As a mother myself, I will be the first to admit I don’t know it all. So, its always nice to talk with other moms and hear what works for them. Yet, when its comes to the picky eater, posts often become a heated debate. People bickering with one another over their advice.

In truth, we are all strong, loving mothers just trying to do the best we can. I feel we should love and celebrate each others journey through motherhood. With that being said, its through my own experiences that I have figured out how to combat my picky toddler. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to children and food, but I have come up with a few tips that I would like to share.

3 Tips To Combat The Picky Eater

  1. Don’t make eating the food a big deal.

This was VERY difficult for me at first. When my daughter began the picky eater stage, meals became a point of contention. The more pressure I put on her to eat, the less likely she was touch anything on her plate.  So, one day I decided to bit my tongue. I sat her plate in front of her and walked away. Of course I stayed in the kitchen to keep an eye on her, but I pretended to appear busy. I shuffled papers, wiped down the countertops, and ignored the “all done” she would scream in the first few minutes. Leaving the plate in front of her for a reasonable 30 minutes pre meal. It didn’t happen over night, but by the end of the week she began eating a little of everything on her plate with no complaints.

2.  Cook Together

I have mentioned this tip before in a previous blog post called, Little Hands in the Kitchen. Having my daughter cook with me has truly been one of the best tips in combating the picky eater stage. Giving her the opportunity to work with and help to make the food gives her a sense of pride. It makes her want to try something because she had a hand in its creation. For example, I have had her put spinach in the blender whenever we make fruit smoothies and other meals. After almost a year of putting this ingredient in her food, she will now pick it up and eat it raw! No joke! I can set spinach leaves on her plate and she will eat them by the handful! Honestly, I never expected that! But she loves to try each ingredient now, before combining them together.

3.   Negotiate

Now that our toddler is approaching 3, negotiating during meal time has become helpful. She is now at the age where we do require she try one bite of each item on her plate. So, telling her she can be all done if she tries one bite of “XYZ” is helpful. Or if she wants to eat a sweet snack after dinner, she needs to eat so much of each item. Sometimes she wants second or third helpings of vegetables. Honestly, I consider this a mommy win! So I just keep refilling. On the other hand if she wants another helping of pasta for example, then I say sure once you have two “big girl” bites of this vegetable or fruit. Then, I refill with a tiny portion of pasta and repeat the two bites rule before another pasta helping.

Do you have a picky eater? What has worked for your family in expanding their palette?

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