Picky Eaters: My Children

…aren’t, picky eaters, that is.  I am so blessed by this, but it hasn’t come without bumps in the road.  I have been astonished over the years at the food kids refuse to eat.  Foods that I consider normal.  I’m not sure why this is, but I will give you some hints as to how we’ve been successful fending off picky eaters in our house.

What do I mean by my kids not being picky eaters? What sort of food do they eat?

  • Sushi
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Green Beans
  • Zucchini
  • Squash
  • Cucumbers
  • Artichokes (They love to eat them steamed w/ their dad.)
  • Hummus
  • Salsa
  • Salads
  • Beans
  • Fruits, fresh & dried
  • Nuts – those that are allowed
  • eggs
  • All Meat
  • Fish/Seafood
  • Soups

Foods we’re still working on:

  • Tomatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Curry Dishes

How have I managed to keep my kids from being picky eaters?

I don’t know if it’s all me because I am sure there are many parents out there who have tried all the same techniques with different results.  But I do not like going to the effort of shopping, planning and preparing meals, only to have my children complain about them.  To me, it’s ingratitude.  Here are some of the methods that have helped in our home.

  • I don’t give my kids other choices.  You eat what is prepared and put in front of you.  If it something you don’t care for you, you have to eat a few bites at least.
  • You can not ask for something else, like cereal or chicken nuggets.  If you are not going to eat the meal prepared, you will have to wait until the next meal.  (Don’t worry, they won’t starve — they’ve eaten other food during the day.  Besides, they usually end up eating some of what’s on their plate.)
  • There is one exception to the above 2 points.  If I know a dish is a total flop, I do not make the kids eat it and I will offer them something else.  But if I know something is good and they are being picky, all bets are off.
  • Once our children started on table food, I gave them what we had for dinner.  So, it started from Day 1, sort of speaking.
  • When my children have hit the age of being picky (like my 3 year old is currently), I continue to give them the food (small amounts) and require them to eat a few bites.  I still do not offer them something else.
  • I keep offering the food to my children over time.  If they don’t like it once, I don’t give up.
  • If there is one item that they enjoy on their plate more than another, before they can have seconds of anything, they must eat some of the less favorable item.
  • They do not get dessert (if we have it) until everything on their plate is eaten.
  • I do not fill up their plates with as much food as is on our adult plates.  I see this happen all too often and most gets thrown out.  I have way too tight a budget and general conscientiousness to throw out perfectly good food just because I gave my children man-size portions.  The children can always ask for more.
  • I prepare the food in such a way that it is good.  I do not douse it with cheese or butter or salt, but it tastes good with the seasonings that I add.  I try to provide delicious, healthy, well-balanced meals.

I have one final tip to get your picky children to eat more food, but I am saving it for next week.  In my opinion, it is a fun and productive method to getting your picky eaters to eat more variety, so stay tuned.

Do you think I’m too strict? 🙂  Do you have any tips to offer on how you’ve gotten your children to not be picky eaters?  Do you have picky eaters? Feel free to share your story.

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3 Responses to Picky Eaters: My Children

  1. Megan says:

    Thanks Michelle! I appreciate your tips for getting kids to eat. Every tip helps, especially since I’m just introducing Ryan to new foods almost every day.

    • Cook says:

      You’re very welcome, Megan. I’m always happy to be of service. Be sure to check on for one more tip next Friday. I think it is something that you will enjoy employing as Ryan gets older.

  2. Pingback: Picky Eaters: Use Honest and Fun Manipulation | The Willing Cook

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