Last week I told you Part One of our story. In Part 2 I’m giving you five things that helped us!
Five Tips to Help Your Picky Eater:
Consult a Professional: Did you know that picky kids are more likely to have food related allergies? There are many medical reasons a child may be picky. Those reasons can run the spectrum from texture issues and food sensitivities all the way to serious medical issues. It’s very important to talk to your pediatrician to see if there is anything that might be a red flag. By going this route we were able to establish that our son had numerous food sensitivities.
Follow Their Lead: Medical issues aside, children will become curious about things you eat. I noticed 80% of the things my son has come to eat were things he decided looked good. One day he saw my husband eating a hamburger and asked for a bite. He ate the whole thing. Once you have established something they will eat regularly you can start making changes to make the foods healthier. For example, instead of picking up a cheeseburger from a fast food place, make a batch with organic meat and add some finely chopped veggies.
Try, Try Again: I was told by a speech/food therapist that a picky child will need to see something 30 times or more before they will accept it in their regular diet. Keep offering healthy foods on the same plate as something they eat normally and one day they just might surprise you.
Let Them Help: Kids love to be helpful. By allowing your child to help prepare a meal you are exposing them to food in a way they won’t even realize. Let them stir, pour, and prep food. Ask them to smell or taste it and have them tell you what they think.
Make it Fun: Nothing motivates or son more than asking him “What kind of bite would a shark take?” for him to take big bites instead of his small nibbles. There are even fun dinner plates that look like a board game and at the end they get a prize of their favorite treat. It’s important to show them meal time is fun.
I know it feels endless. It’s a constant battle and I’m here to tell you, it absolutely does get better.
The sandwich my son asked to eat and then started picking it apart.
Have you seen that commercial for a drink for kids thats supposed to provide all the vitamins and nutrients for your picky child? Have you also scoffed, like me, thinking ‘why would my very picky child all of a sudden decide to drink that?’ It makes me want to yell at the screen, ‘what do you know about picky kids?!’
A lot of people don’t understand the kind of picky that causes kids to not gain weight for months. The kind of picky that when they eat something one day and then literally never want to eat it again. The kind of picky that when they ask to eat something they like but five minutes later they begin to pick at it.
That was and is my oldest son. He began rejecting baby food/formula at 4 months old. His pediatrician was shocked and commented that she had never seen a baby actually choose not to eat – that it should be a natural instinct to feed. She suggested I continue to nurse because he probably wasn’t ready to try new things. At his 9 month check up, my son had no growth in 3 months. As a mother I started to panic. We began a long journey of trying to figure out what the issue was.
It is my belief that we had seen just about every doctor under the sun. You name it, we tried it. Allergist, Occupational Therapist, Speech Therapists, Gastroenterologists, and all sorts of other and people with fancy titles. And for two years, he would only nurse.
Does this sound familiar to you? You are not alone. In Part 2: I will give you my tips that helped me through the years deal with my picky child.
Fun fact: I married into an Italian family. You’ve seen that movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” ? It’s kind of like that except with a lot more food. Some of my most favorite dishes my mother-in-law makes are italian peasant dishes, but my favorite is a dish called ‘Pasta with the Cauliflower’. It is so easy, so delicious, and is only a few ingredients.
2-3 small heads of cauliflower
4 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
1 box of spaghetti
1/2 c. Olive oil
Good italian cheese (We love Locatelli)
Crushed red pepper (Optional)
Your house will smell terrible temporarily… but your taste buds will thank you later.
You may become obsessed with this meal.
Place cauliflower in large pot of salted water and boil until fork tender.
Drain cauliflower and let cool off a bit, then cut to floret size pieces.
In large frying pan, add olive oil and garlic to simmer.
Once the garlic starts to simmer, add the cauliflower and mix until all pieces are coated with the olive oil. You may need to add extra olive oil.
Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, crushed red pepper and cheese to taste and stir.
Cook cauliflower down until softened.
Boil spaghetti in salted water as directed on box.
Save some of the water when you strain the pasta!!!
Serve in a bowl with spaghetti and desired amount of cauliflower. Add a bit of the pasta water and top with cheese.
I am Megan. Daughter. Cook. Event Planner. Wife. Mother of two. Friend. Those are just a few of my titles, and the things that make me essentially-me, well…me, and this blog!
I am writing this blog for others who, like me, have different titles we answer to on a daily basis, and to encourage them on this ride we call life by sharing stories, thoughts, recipes, products, and ideas. Our lives can become so hectic, and I hope that by reading my blog, you will find help, encouragement, and inspiration. Not that I have it all figured out though—my life can be crazy-hectic as a work-from-home mom of two very active boys—not to mention a house that needs to be cleaned, dinners to be cooked, and most importantly, time to be spent with family. It’s a balancing act to say the least, but as I like to say one step at a time, one foot in front of the other! And so a journey begins…
“Life is a journey, with problems to solve, lessons to learn, but most of all, experiences to enjoy” Ritu Ghatourey