Fussy Eaters

Parents often ask me for tips about what to do with their children who are fussy or picky eaters.  Children can’t be expected to like every food put in front of them, adults don’t like all foods either. It’s how we handle the so called fussy eater that becomes the real problem.  Children need to learn that they will eat what the family is eating, or they will have nothing.  When your child tells you that he/she doesn’t like the food that is being offered and you run and make them something else so he/she won’t go hungry, your child has won! Parents should make one breakfast, one lunch and one dinner.  Not several meals for all different members, just one meal for everyone.  You may read this and think, ‘oh you don’t know MY child’.  I do.  I have raised 3 children and taught thousands of other children throughout the years and fussy/picky eaters only get exceptionally fussy when they find out you are only offering one meal and they won’t get what they want.  The fussing may get louder while the child assumes that you will make him/her his own meal, however, don’t let the fussing bother you.  Encourage your child to try the food that is being given.  If he/she chooses not to try it, don’t make a huge issue, BUT, DO NOT give your child anything to eat until the next meal is offered.  No snacks, no little bites of something, no food at all. (Of course, water or liquids are fine)  Oh sure, you will get lots of sad, mad looks from your child and he/she might even tell you that he/she is hungry.    When a child comes to the table hungry for the next meal, he/she will be more willing to try the new foods that are being put in front of him/her. Children like different textures of food. Do a little detective work and find out if your child likes crunchy food or creamy food and offer vegetables in the texture you know your child will eat or at least try. Of course, it is OK to make your child’s favorite foods from time to time, but your child must learn that he/she is part of a family and the family eats one meal and only one meal. Mom or Dad will no longer be making special meals for the fussy/picky eater.

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Filed under First Grade, Food, Kindergarten, Parents

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