Sunday, December 23, 2007

How to Detach "Picky" From "Eater"

This is a sequel to "Is Your Picky Eater Driving You to Drink?"

As I warmed up some lentil soup for lunch, I heared,"Yummy! That smells delicious.”
Scrawny asked if she could have some, and I was more than happy to share. I invited her to sit with me at the dinning table.

“What the heck is this?” she asked, with a puckered brow. I tried to reassure her that it was the same yummy smelling dish.

“Try some, it is so goooood,” I teased.
“But…Mom, it looks like diarrhea poop.”
I glared at her and could feel the veins in my head throbbing.
“Is there something else for me to eat”? "Nope," I replied (with all the grace and restraint that I could muster). "Go play outside!"

By dinner time, when she asked for pizza, I popped open that bottle of Moet I'd been saving for a very special occasion; worked on my victory dance...not really. But I did phone Daddoo and asked him to pick up a large cheese pizza from Papa John’s, on his way home from work. Later, everyone gathered around in the family room to enjoy our dinner. Everyone, except… yep, you got it!

She was methodically yanking all visible cheese from her piece. I didn’t ask her what she was doing. I didn’t care. I guess as parents of picky eaters, all we can do, is continue to offer nutritious meals (not necessarily Papa John's), to our children. To eat or not to eat, the choice is entirely up to them. So, if your picky eater is driving you round the bend, don’t blow a gasket. Here are a few home grown tips, that should help reduce pickiness or completely detach “picky” from “eater.”

DON’T GIVE OPTIONS – And I’m guilty, I must admit. It’s only recently that I began to realize that I may have very well encouraged Scrawny's picky eating habit. “Would you like eggs and bagel; cheerios or waffles?” used to follow, “Did you sleep well last night?” If you constantly present your children with multiple food choices, you’re sending the message that it’s okay to be picky. Don’t let them think they have a choice. You simply prepare a meal, serve and announce “It’s time to eat!”

SAY NO TO GRAZING LIKE COWS - Try scheduling meal and snack times to control all day long nibbling. This should also give you more control over what they eat and when they eat. Besides, if you allow them to snack freely, they’ll try to regurgitate excuses like, “I’m not hungry" or "I just ate” when it’s time to sit down and enjoy that home cooked meal you spent hours preparing.

TOSS THE 'SHORT ORDER COOK' HAT - I’m still working on this one. Every now and then however, I catch myself sneaking back into the kitchen to whip up bacon and eggs for Mikala at dinner time just because she shunned my Rice, Tuna with Broccoli or whatever everyone else in the family is having.

ASK NOT FOR OPINIONS - Each time you say to a picky eater “What would you like to eat?” chances are, it’ll never be that healthy, nutritious meal that you had in mind in the first place. You are the parent. You get to decide what to feed your children without seeking their input.

CUT BACK ON JUNK – Bear in mind, you are the one who is in charge of the foods that enter your house. Not your kids. By having zero or fewer junk foods around, they'll have no other recourse but to eat what’s available. Hopefully, the choices would be nuts, more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and dairy products instead of Pringles, Cheeto Puffs or little Debbie snacks.

P.S. Should none of the above steps work for you, Trade in that KID for a PUPPY-;)

If you liked this post, you will love the "Half and Half Rule"

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