I get questions quite a bit about what to do with kids who are picky eaters and just don't seem to like very many vegetables. When you have a mostly plant based diet that can be kind of tricky. I FOR SURE have my share of picky eaters around here; But through the years I have learned a few things that seem to be working! Many times people are amazed at what good eaters my kids are and will say things like, "How do you get your kids to eat so good?" or "I hope our kids will be good eaters like that!" I had a cousin over for dinner a while back and as we were setting the table and getting ready for dinner my kids started eating sprouts like they were cookies or something. I told my kids, "Stop eating so many sprouts we need to save some for dinner." My cousin looked at me funny, and I realized how "weird" that must sound. He then said, "I sure hope I will need to say that to my kids one day!"
Alright, so here is what I have found has worked with my picky kids.
* At the ages of about 4-8 (remember ages may vary all kids are different) I ask that they at least try what I made for dinner. One bite just at least taste it. If they find they like it, and a lot of times they do, then of course they eat it. If they claim they don’t like it some times I ask them to eat a couple of bites depending on the age and how much I could tell they didn’t like it. Or I just tell them to eat what they like that is on the table or pick out whatever is in the dish that they don’t like. Again no fighting and forcing Family meal time should be enjoyable for EVERYONE!
* By the time they are 8 they have tried lots of new things and have developed a taste for a lot of the things they thought they hated. My pickiest eater so far who is now 8 has found a lot of things he likes that he didn’t even dare try at 3. I have even noticed he will eat mushrooms in some dishes. He hated those for a very long time.
At about eight years old they like enough things that I don’t worry about them getting enough to eat and eating healthy. If the 8 and older children pick some things out that they don’t care for I don’t usually say anything. I mean they all like salad by then and eat a big plate with dinner! It’s funny though when it comes time to do the dishes all the plates are clean. ;) I think it’s the Jack Sprat nursery rhyme thing going on…..So between the family they licked the platter clean! ;) And since I know it’s all healthy I’m okay with that. I think the trick is to have even dessert be healthy! If your really tricky a lot of times dessert could potentially be better for you then the dinner.
Just the other day my husband and I watched our 3 year old horse down a big plate of leafy greens. She pretty much had never touched salad before. We would keep offering it to her and she would have a taste here and there but never really cared for it. I wasn’t concerned though because she loves green smoothies! ;) I have found if it’s not a power struggle with only good feelings abounding; They don’t connect the food to negative feelings. And if they see everyone else especially parents eating and ENJOYING good healthy food, and being offered to try; They will keep tasting and I have found as tastes develop there are very few healthy things children don't like. I think one of the most important things we can do is have lots of the good, more of the better, and most of the very best food options around the home. As parents we need to be good stewards and not allow all the bad and ugly junk food into our homes! This I believe is KEY! Environment is everything for a child!
|"Just getting a snack, Mom."|