Neutralizing Picky Eaters
Written by Wendy Corr on November 16, 2018
It’s every parents’ nightmare: you sit down to a holiday meal with family and friends, and your picky eater throws a mealtime tantrum. How can you make healthy holiday fare, and still get your kids to like the food? I’m Wendy Corr, and for today’s Wellness Tip, we’ll talk about getting your picky eaters to dig into foods that they’ll enjoy forever.
The holiday season is nearly here, and with that usually comes big holiday meals often with people outside of your immediate family. These meals typically include more quote-unquote “adult food,” which can mean a major upset for a picky eater. Many parents give in and serve kid-friendly dishes like dry cereal and chicken nuggets on the side, which reinforces the picky eating and risks eye rolls from their guests.
So how can you get your child to eat some of the healthier choices at the holiday table? I’ve got a few suggestions for you that DON’T involve caving into the child’s limited palate.
First, let your child get involved with the cooking process. Kids are more likely to eat what they help to prepare!
Another tact is to introduce your child to the upcoming holiday dishes in advance, so there are no surprises. Let them try the sweet potatoes at home first, so they know what to expect when they get to Grandma’s house.
Remember that when you bribe a child, it often backfires. Making promises of more dessert later can lead to a child labeling certain foods “negative” or “positive,” and instead of beginning a healthy relationship with veggies, the child will see broccoli simply as a means to get more sweet stuff.
And don’t threaten consequences. Once again, that teaches the child that any food that is good for them comes at a price.
And finally, set the bar low. If you’ve done everything you can do, let go of any expectations you have for your child to eat. Enjoy yourself, and don’t allow your child to be your focus during the meal. When it comes down to it, most picky eating is about power and control. If you leave them alone with only healthy food on their plate and don’t put pressure on them, they may actually try some of it!
Thanks for tuning in to Wellness with Wendy! I’m a certified holistic nutritionist, a mom, an entertainer and a radio personality – so finding balance is the key to my life. I love sharing tips and tricks to help you live your best life – so for more health and wellness news and advice, follow my blog on mybighornbasin.com. See you again next time for Wellness with Wendy!