i know several parents whose kids are picky eaters and i know very few parents whose kids will eat anything. before mclain was even born, i was very concerned about the kind of eater he would be. i did a lot of research and continue to do a lot of research about healthy eating habits. i would talk with my friends whose kids would eat bell peppers and carrots for their morning snack at the park. here are some helpful tips that i've picked up and thought i would share with any of you who might be overly concerned about your kiddos being picky eaters too. i can't promise these tips will actually work, or if we just lucked out, or if it's because i'm the best mom ever :) but here ya go...
when he was a baby and eating his first foods....(you can read more here).
*other than baby cereal or baby oatmeal, i tried to stay away from "baby food". i only bought pouch food or jar baby food if we were going out of town.
*i made most of his baby food, that way i knew exactly what i was feeding him.
*for snacks--i would give him cheerios or toast without butter. would he prefer honey nut cheerios or jam on his buttered toast--yes, but i didn't want him to think everything needs sugar to taste good.
* i have never purchased "puffs" or yogurt melts. not to say he never ate them. he would eat them at play dates or at the church nursery if they were offered...and he LOVED them, but they were not our go to snack.
*matt and i are on the same team.
*i once read to offer children something 15 times before concluding that they don't like it.
*i never assumed he wouldn't like something because he's a baby or because i don't like it, i.e. tofu, cilantro, cooked spinach, brussel sprouts or these super strange banana oatmeal muffins i recently made....he likes all of those things.
as he gets older, i find it more challenging...he used to eat bananas all the time, now it's a very rare occasion. one day eggs will be his favorite, the next day he'll want nothing to do with them. sometimes he likes to see how far he can throw his food or which dog will eat it first when he drops it on the ground. other times he would rather run and play than eat the 'delicious' meal i've made for him. i've read that toddlers don't eat as much as they once did, causing parents to be very concerned/frustrated, leading them to feed their whatever they know they'll eat. i've tried to prepare my heart for this stage and put myself in his shoes. for instance, he may not eat the lunch i put in front of him but if i offer him graham crackers instead, just so he'll eat something, he will definitely eat them. i would do the same thing, i may not be hungry but if you ask me if i want a cheeto, i will say yes and then proceed to take and eat the entire bag. guilty.
here are a few
*we eat with him as much as possible--this helps him stay focused on the task at hand and to lead by example.
*he thinks he's grown and needs to eat with a fork, sometimes that fork needs to be the one i'm currently using and sometimes the food needs to be the food currently on my plate.
*if he only takes two bites and then he's over it, i'll save it and try again in an hour or two.
*i'm in control of what, when and where he eats (love this article!)
*and when he's not at all interested in what's in front of him, i will do my best offer him healthy alternatives.
if i had the self-control of a 15 month old, i.e. had to wear diapers, threw myself on the ground when i didn't get my way or could eat an entire box of fruit loops in one sitting, then yes, i too would eat my weight in french fries and frosty's. so, even though it may feel like a constant battle, he needs me to tell him what to eat. i'm responsible for the food he puts in his mouth. so, when we go to mcdonald's, i will get fries with my cheeseburger and mclain will get apple slices with his cheeseburger because i'm the mama and i get to choose....for now anyways. i know that his will to eat what he wants to eat will become stronger as he gets older, that is why i'm so eager to encourage him to be a well-rounded eater while he is young and more compliant :).
***please know: i'm not always super strict when it comes to what he can and can't eat. he still gets the occassional donut or ice cream cone. but 95% of the time it's going to have more nutritional value than just sugar.
hugs and kisses~s and bg
p.s. do you have any tips for when they get older and have an even stronger opinion about what they will and will not eat.
p.p.s. i'm pretty sure this post will jinx me and baby girl will be the pickiest eater of all time :)