How to get a picky eater to eat by Chef Lindsay
I was a picky eater as a child, a very picky eater. Everything had to be dry: cereal, bread, salad; not touching; and familiar. Forget trying new things. I can remember taking a trip to Italy as a child and my parents offering me a dollar (which was a lot for a kid back then) for every new thing I tried…I earned nothing on that trip. That all changed for me when I started becoming interested in cooking in my dorm room in college. Picking out my own menus, buying my own ingredients, and getting my hands dirty creating the food I would be eating changed the way I looked at food.
Coming from a culinary background, I was convinced that my children would share my love for food from an early age…but I couldn’t be more wrong. I made all of their own baby food, trying out the simple foods along with more complex. They spit everything out. As they grew, their palates did not. If it was not brown, starchy, or sweet it wasn’t going in their mouths…and even worse, if one child decided that she didn’t like something the other child would follow suit.
I’ve read every piece of literature out there on getting kids to eat, and tried out everything. I’ve hid spinach in their meatballs, squash in their mac n cheese and sweet potatoes in their waffles. I have made silly shapes with the food on their plates. I don’t call food by their proper names. I’ve given out “good eater” stickers. I’ve offered to let them choose their menus and help prepare their meals.
And as much as I would love to say I found the solution that works, I haven’t. They try new foods when they want to and they eat as much as and when they want (which is still shockingly little at 6 and 8). I’ve learned that like me, they will come into eating at their own pace, and all I can do is provide a variety of healthy meals for them to dabble with if they so choose. My mom always reminds me “they wont starve if they don’t eat dinner”, and she’s right, I did ok.
If you’re looking for some websites for some ideas for your own picky eater here are a few that I found offered a few helpful tips:
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A personal chef