First let me say that over the years I have been able to figure a few things out about being a parent with young kids. Lots of trial and errors! With my first-born, we were bombarded with advice on how to handle our son until our ears bled and we were frantic with “are we doing it all wrong”. Bottom line is no two kids are alike, just like my parenting style may not be the same as yours. I learned to listen to my gut more and so far it has not led me down the wrong path. Yes my kids have been (and still are I suppose) picky eaters, to the point I want to pull my hair out because food is being wasted! They will grow out of it! My oldest is 9 years old now and can out eat me! I have to believe eventually the picky eater phase will pass even though it seems like it’s a never-ending battle.
“I learned to listen to my guy more and so far it has not led me down the wrong path”
The one thing I do require of them is to taste new to them foods. If they don’t like it, fine don’t eat it but at least you know what it tastes like. I have learned that threatening to take dessert away if they don’t clear their plates only works 25% of the time at our house, depending on the child. I do notice that they will eat certain foods at their grandparents house but won’t eat it at home! Now how messed up is that!
When I ask them what their favorite meals are:
- Homemade Spaghetti and meatballs
- Chicken Fried Steak & Mashed potatoes
- Chicken nuggets ( definitely my Little Bits favorite meal besides PB&J sandwiches)
- Fish Sticks and Macaroni and cheese.
Out of all those options my pickier eater is my 3-year-old Little Bit, he would only eat Chicken nuggets. On a good day or maybe if someone was bribing him he would TRY the other items on that list. Oh well, he will eat veggies and fruit without a problem most days. I do have to keep reminding myself that he will grow out of it! Except by the time they grow out of the picky eater phase, my three boys will be hard to fill up and my worries will no longer be about wasting food, but do I have enough!
Something that I remember from my mom, is that if you don’t like what she cooked, don’t eat it because she is not a “short order cook” making everyone a different meal every night. I carried it over into our home because let’s be honest that’s a lot of work at the end of the day – picky eaters won’t go hungry if you served them the same meal everyone at the table is eating! If they are hungry, they will eat it! Have I maybe made a peanut butter & Jelly sandwich for one of my kids I knew wouldn’t like to eat at the restaurant we were going to, yes.. that I have done when they were younger if it meant we had a nice relaxing family outing. So see, no one is perfect. Sometimes throwing a PB&J for dinner to save momma’s sanity is necessary!
I love Pinterest for finding new recipes that will be a healthy version of what they love to eat. So far my attempts to find healthier versions of say.. chicken nuggets or fish sticks are not well received and I just wasted a bunch of food. UGH!
I would love to hear some recipes that have worked in your family!