I’m pretty sure we have all come across a picky eater at some point in our lives. Most people think of their own children when the term “picky eater” is used. Or, you could be married to a picky eater. Heck, you might even be a picky eater yourself.
When I think of a picky eater, I think of someone who doesn’t like many different kinds of food. I’m not just talking one or two foods, I’m talking one or two food GROUPS. I’ve been around picky eaters, and let me tell you…they are a pain in the rear to cook for. And since I like to cook, I vowed never to marry a picky eater or raise kids that are picky eaters!
But what makes someone a picky eater. Is it something they are born with? Do they have a different set of taste buds than the rest of us?
Brace yourselves, because I’m about to cause some controversy here:
PICKY EATERS ARE NOT BORN, THEY ARE MADE!
Think about this statement for a moment…
What do you do when you are exhausted and one of your kids refuses to eat what’s in front of them? Do you:
a) make something else for them to eat, something they will like?
b) make them sit at the table until their plate is empty?
c) wrap up what’s on their plate and save it for later?
If you chose A or B, then you are encouraging UNHEALTHY eating habits in your child.
If you chose C, then you are definitely encouraging healthy and diversified eating habits for your child.
If you constantly let your children dictate the food they eat, you are hurting their eating habits in the long run.
In our house, we have the ONE BITE RULE. If there is something on my kids plates that they don’t like, they have to take ONE bite of it, no exceptions. And if they don’t eat it at the dinner table, then I wrap it up for them to eat later. Either way, they are going to eat one bite before the day is over.
Yes, it’s going to be a struggle at first (believe me, I know, I struggled with my three boys for 2 years!), but eventually, they get over it. I can finally say, that after all of our hard work, my kids eat healthy foods, foods that we enjoy as a family. I’m sure some of you look at my weekly menu plans and think, “do your kids really eat that?” YES! Sure, there are days they don’t enjoy everything I make, that’s NORMAL. But I make sure each dinner includes a component that everyone will like (in our house that’s usually baked oven fries!). Then, they have to take at least one bite of everything else on their plate, even if they don’t like it.
I want my children to enjoy healthy foods, not turn their noses up at it. And so far, it’s working.
So tell me, are you raising a picky eater? Do you agree with what I’ve said? How do you encourage your children to eat healthy?