My kid doesn’t want to eat the healthy food I make, how do I get them to try it? They see something new in front of them and immediately say YUCK! Remember that the kids are watching you do, and if they see you eat it, they are more likely to eat it. Eat the meal together at the same table. Be the example for your kids because they watch all that you do. Sometimes when you try to force the issue, those kids sense that, and you want to pick your battles with them. You don’t want food to be one of those battles. The struggle for control, and remember you can’t control them. Some kids throw a fit when they see there is mushroom or onion or tomatoes in their burgers. Try to allow the food is present on the dinner table, start with it on the table and slowly introduce it to their plate. Don’t encourage your kids to eat everything on their plate, eat to satiety so that they are not learning to overeat. If you are emotion about the meal, the kids will sense that, and they will clinch up even more and pull back from you, making the struggle even more difficult. Try to detach yourself from this eating situation emotionally to give yourself a higher chance of success. And taste buds change every five years scientists say, maybe what they can’t tolerate now, will become a staple for them later.
If your kids a picky eater, then here are some other pieces of advice. Kids, by definition, are unable to control much about their life, so when they find an opportunity to control something, they will try. Your picky eater has decided that they are going to control what they put in their mouths. You control what foods you are preparing and what you buy and bring home, but what they shove in their mouth and swallow, is their choice. Whoever is the most upset by or focused on whatever a particular issue is, owns the problem. Knowing this, ask yourself, is my child concerned about the quality of the food or nutritional value of the food that they are eating? Nope, and this is why you own the problem as the parent and not the child. Sometimes the kids will say they are hungry for ice cream or candy, but when you offer then a healthy meal, they aren’t hungry all of a sudden. Guess what; they may not have been hungry, to begin with, or they say they aren’t hungry because they don’t want to eat what you have chosen for them to eat. What I like to do is make it very clear, very calmly, that they will not get to eat what they want, until they have eaten the healthy meal that I have prepared for them. If they were not hungry, they will walk away and do something else, but if they are starving, they will be open to this negotiation. Don’t worry; your child will not starve to death!
Avoid power struggles. If you can’t avoid the power struggles, then win them. Finally, pick the issues that you want to struggle with your kids over. Remember that you control what foods are available to them to eat. If the ice cream and candy are becoming a problem, guess what items are no longer getting into your shopping cart until your kids get a handle on that impulse? Be realistic, if you fill them with snacks all morning or all day, then that picky eater is not hungry anymore and seems picky because they are full.
You can’t control the kid, and you can control what the kid has access to eat at all times(short of them trading their lunch with a kid at school). You are an example for them to follow. You also have control over when you are providing the foods for them. You control the access to the snacks, sweets, and their main staple. Make eating a positive, don’t restrict the eating, but you can’t limit what you don’t have laying in the house. Doing all of this consequently will make you eat healthier as well. Mom and Dad are happy and healthy, and the kids are thinking and deciding more from the choices that you provided. Sure they will pick one health benefitting food item over another, but I don’t think that is such a bad thing, do you?