Having a picky eater at the table and in the family does bring some chaos to meal time. For years now, I have cooked two meals at dinner, one for me and my husband and one for the kids. There are times when my son will eat what we are having but I know that my daughter will not. It is probably one of the most challenging aspects of meal time around here, dealing with her eating issues that arose out of sensory issues to textures and strong taste.
My daughter’s sensory issues are not as much of a problem anymore, but the habits that developed because of them continue to this day. My daughter refuses to eat any vegetables, often won’t eat anything that has any type of spice to it even when it’s not considered “spicy”, and the foods she will eat are somewhat limited.
We have made some progress, we don’t just eat chicken nuggets, cheese roll ups (flour tortillas with melted cheese inside), and plain spaghetti noodles. She now will eat grilled chicken, pork tenderloin, ravioli, spaghetti with sauce, and some bites of certain casseroles. However, she won’t eat any vegetables what so ever. I have tried veggies with cheese, cooked, raw, letting her dip them in ketchup, anything that I thought would work. So far, no luck. She convinces herself that she isn’t going to like it before she even puts it in her mouth and that most times causes her to gag on the food.
We are going to try some different tactics going forward because she needs to try new foods and I’m tired of fixing multiple meals each night. I found a post lately that really spoke to me over at livingwellspendingless.com. The article, “How I got my kids to eat their vegetables”, gave me two ideas that I’m going to start using with my daughter.
The first thing is that I’m not going to give her a choice anymore. I will fix dinner and then put the food on her plate. I will make sure to put at least one thing on the menu that I know she will eat, but the rest will be what we all will be eating. The second thing, is that she has to try something at least 3 times, at 3 separate meals, before she can say she doesn’t like it.
It is my hope that by implementing these rules for my children at meal times, in particular with my daughter, that we will finally have the family dinners that I have envisioned for so long. I will update you before the end of the month as to how these are going.
What ways do you deal with a picky eater in your household? Leave a comment below and share what has worked and what hasn’t worked with your picky eater.