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Lead By Example

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    10/06/2020 (October 06, 2020)
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Lead By Example Lead By Example

Everyone, adults and children alike, have preferences when it comes to food. But, if your child has crossed the bridge into the land of the picky eater, something as normal, enjoyable, and fulfilling as a family meal can instantly become wrought with stress, discord, and unhappiness. Here are some ways to best custom writing about avoid picky eating at your table and encourage your child toward a more healthy, balanced diet.
The pickiest parents often create similarly picky children. If you want your child to eat a balanced diet, you need to emulate that lifestyle. If your child constantly sees you turning your nose up at things you don't like, chances are they will do the same.

DON'T: Use Vegetables as Punishment
I can't even count how many times my parents used the you will eat vegetables for dessert threat on me. Vegetables (like reading and other good for your kids things) should not be used as punishment. It's certainly okay to withhold your child's post dinner snack if they don't eat a reasonable amount of their food, but offering cold vegetables hours later, or forcing them to sit at the table until their potatoes au gratin turns gloppy is no way to stamp out their disdain for a healthful food item. Instead, offer them their meal and, should the decline, remove it and allow them to go on with their day. Remind them that they won't be able to eat again until the next meal time (meaning no fruit snacks in an hour), at which point serve them whatever fresh item was already on the menu (not a lunch redux).

DON'T: Confuse Sometimes Foods for Anytime Foods
The whim of the toddler is a difficult thing to resist, especially when it comes to food. As parents, we never want our children going hungry. It evokes something in us and you will often see mothers scrambling to offer their children whatever nonsense they will put in their bellies just to ensure they have something in their bellies. Kids get that. And, while it's certainly okay to give your child cheese and carrots with buttered bread every day for lunch for three years straight, it's less okay to give them Oreo cookies and deep fried corn dogs at the same rate. Parents can anticipate that their children will develop long term infatuations with foods; it's in their nature to do so. With that in mind, make sure they develop those infatuations with food you're okay with them eating by not offering them the alternatives you can't tolerate on a daily basis. It's okay to enjoy Oreos and deep fried corn dogs sometimes, you just need to ensure that your child isn't allowed to make sometimes every day at noon.

DON'T: Let Stress Bring You Down
As worrisome as living with a picky eater can be, it's important that parents keep in mind that, as is the case with most things, picky eating, if properly discouraged, is likely just a phase. Don't let your child's food refusals frustrate you into giving up. Continue to fight the good food fight and eventually they will change again and you'll have a new battle to fight.

You are not alone. Food battles go on in every family's home during the toddler years. The key to making it through without creating a life long picky eater or compromising your child's nutrition is to remain offer them healthy choices consistently. Eventually they will move past their toddler-ism and realize that that being healthy and eating a balanced diet is not an optional part of life.

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