I am not a waitress, a short order cook, a restaurant manager. And this is not a restaurant. If you eat in my home, I will try my best to make something yummy and nutritious, and accommodate your food sensitivities or allergies. What I will not do is make you something different than what everyone else is eating. Boy #5 is having trouble getting this concept. He has been crying for about two hours. At some point, I’m sure, his thinking brain disengaged and there will be no reasoning with him. “I want something else! I don’t like dinner!” he wails through tears. He is now walking circles around the living room, stopping only to grab a tissue to wipe away the tears.
I don’t know where he got this. I thought the parent’s curse meant we will get children like ourselves? My husband and I are both “foodies”. We will try just about anything, as will all of the other boys. I have worked with many families through Head Start in dealing with their child’s picky eating behaviors. Yet I look at my son and think “what do I do?”
Here are a few tips I have given others and I have to listen to myself:
- Everyone gets the same food. Do not make something different for the picky eater. He may go to bed hungry a few times, but he will eventually eat.
- Put the food on the table and eat “family style”. Your child may serve themselves (with help for the younger guys). Demonstrate proper serving sizes, table manners and appropriate table conversation.
- Encourage your child to try everything, but don’t force it. The country is filled with overweight people who were forced to “clean their plates”.
- Let your child help make the meals. This is a great bonding experience!
- Take a deep breath. This too shall pass.
Now go enjoy your meals and your families, picky eaters and all.