My pediatrician once told me that mealtime shouldn't be a "have it your way" event. She is definitely right. Yet, in the quest to make sure my daughter eats healthy, I know there has been a time or two when I've made her something special. In addition, there have been occasions when all she wants to eat is yogurt, fruit and pancakes. In reality, I consider myself one of the lucky ones because my child likes things like broccoli and carrots. Still, here are some of the indicators of a picky eater.
All the food on the plate is one color
Have you ever seen a kid's plate that looks all white? Buttered pasta, string cheese and bananas are some favorites around my house. I wonder what would happen if the color were green. Seeing my daughter eat a plate of kale, broccoli and some lima beans would make me happy.
Your child will only eat certain letters of alphabet
Alphabet soup, cereal and pasta are some ways to make eating fun. However, you may run into the problem of your children only wanting to eat certain letters. Or, they spend so much time spelling their name, or looking for the elusive letter Z, that they hardly eat anything at all.
Each meal becomes a negotiation
Do you ever feel like mealtime turns into a negotiation process? "Do I get ice cream if I eat my vegetables?" However, negotiating can quickly turn into an exhausting mealtime experience. Thus, typically, I just say, "This is what we are eating and I'm not making anything else. "
Changing their mind
There have been times when my daughter will love the first serving of enchiladas. Yet, when it comes time for seconds, she suddenly doesn't like it. One day sweet potatoes are delicious, the next month they are disgusting.
The peas are tainted if they touch the carrots
I think it's funny how my daughter doesn't even want the unlikable food on her plate. It can't be moved off to the side. It has to be completely off the plate.
Hiding food doesn't work
Once upon a time, I tried hiding some veggies and chicken in a quesadilla. My daughter opened up the quesadilla and proceeded to take out all the extras. Never mind that she loves chicken. She just doesn't like anything but cheese in her quesadilla. Now, I've decided that I'm not going to try to hide food. I simply put out the food and smile when she starts eating.
Most kids go through some sort of picky eating stage. While it's good to introduce your child to a variety of foods, try to refrain from making a different meal for each child. After all, your home shouldn't be a like restaurant.
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