My nieces and nephews are very picky eaters. Before I had children, my father-in-law and I talked a lot about what I would do to ensure that my own children were open to trying different foods. I was terrified of having a child who would only eat ramen noodles and crackers – the entirety of my nephew’s list of food preferences. I watched my brother-in-law fight relentlessly with his son over taking just two bites of unwanted food.
It’s important that our children get a proper amount of nutrition in order to fully function and thrive. At the same time, there are methods of getting our children to eat that are counterproductive and can have harmful lasting effects. The Mayo Clinic lists ten ideas for parents of picky eaters here. Among those listed are,
- Respect your child’s appetite- or lack of one
- Be patient with new foods
- Set a good example
- Minimize distractions
Some people argue that picky eaters are born with sensitive tastes and can’t change. Whether that’s the case or not, we can work on helping our picky eaters be more open to food that will benefit their health.