What Can You Do If Your Kids Are Picky Eaters?
I never thought in a million years I would have kids that would be this particular about food choices, but here I am.
Thankfully, they are getting much better as they are getting older, but boy was it a battle when they were younger, specifically their toddler years. My oldest son seemed to like everything we fed him once he started on the jarred baby food. He loved the veggies, the fruits, the cereal and he even started liking plain water in his bottle early on.
Then when he got to maybe two or three years old, I noticed he wouldn't want some of the foods he seemed to really like. No more pasta with homemade turkey meatballs and sauce all mashed up (the way he liked it). Then a year or two later, he no longer liked pasta sauce at all. That's just one example; there are more where that came from. Fast forward to today, he is now 15 years old, and he is still kind of picky – just sayin'.
So what are some things you can do if you have a picky eating toddler on your hands?
I came across a great article for parents of picky eaters. I wish I saw this list 10 years ago when I was in the thick of it. I remember asking my mom for her advice and she told me she didn't know what to say because my brothers and I were not picky with food. She said that we ate and liked everything.
In the article, HealthyChildren.org says, "Toddlers also are beginning to develop food preferences, a fickle process. A toddler’s favorite food one day may hit the floor the next, or a snubbed food might suddenly become the one he or she can’t get enough of. For weeks, they may eat 1 or 2 preferred foods – and nothing else."
This example completely and totally explains my son all of a sudden not wanting a food he loved so much only a week prior. Yeesh!
Side note, I also read a piece online that said some doctors say that picky eating could signal that a person has a serious mental health disorder. Neophobia, or fear of new foods, is common in toddlers, but experts say kids tend to grow out of it when they see friends eating a variety of foods.