Do you have a picky eater? Do your kids prefer the pasta not to touch the vegetables not to come anywhere near the meat?
This is a popular topic among worried moms. We often overhear a conversation about getting kids to eat at the local kids gym, mommy group or the drop off at school. Does your child hate vegetables or meat? Is it like pulling teeth to get them to eat fruit? And maybe even more troublesome and difficult to deal with, do your kids throw a fit if the different foods on their plate touch?
One thing to keep in mind is that your child’s taste buds change A LOT as they grow. Actually everyone’s do. After doing some research, I decided to not get so frustrated with my picky eaters. Just because my daughter eats a big helping of steak one night doesn’t mean she will eat the same amount the following week. It’s just a fact. It’s been said that our taste buds can change every two weeks. Think about it, did you eat the foods you eat now as a child? I never ate broccoli and cauliflower when I was growing up, but now I love them.
One thing I noticed with both of my children is that there used to be a time when I could sneak veggies into a dish without them knowing. That favorite pasta dish they gobbled up made me happy because it meant they were getting some peas in there. Now that my oldest is five she is more aware of what’s in the food and will pick out what she doesn’t like. The days of hiding veggies are over for this Momma because my youngest (he’s 3) copies everything his older sister does. She and I have even had a secret conversation about how if she doesn’t like something new, she should keep it to herself so he won’t copy her.
When I make a dish these days I ask myself, “Would I have a better chance of my kids actually trying or digesting a vegetable if I separate the food?” I love making stir-fry, soups and one-pot dishes that come together easily. However, I’m finding that when I gracefully separate each food group my kids ask, “If I eat so much of this can I get a snack?” I admit that I use dessert/snacks to get my children to eat their green beans, or even more meat. It started about a year ago with my oldest and because my little guy follows suit, he will more often say, with a mouthful of green beans “How much more I eat Momma?” So for now I’m going with this plan of action. My daughter ate four whole cauliflower florets the other night when I used this technique. Success.
The important thing to remember, is we all want what is best for our children. We want to feed them a nutritious diet but what might work for me might not work for another parent. That’s where the relaxing part comes in. I asked my friends this question and some of them still have the same results I had years ago. They find their kids will eat veggies if they serve a dish with food “touching” rather than a one-dish meal such as potpie or lasagna. Then I’ve heard some say that food not touching is the way to go for them. I know the bartering is working for me currently and if I put a stir-fry or a casserole in front of either of my children the dish simply gets pushed away. Change it up and see how it goes! I’d love to know.
Please share your food stories about your children. What works for you with picky eaters?
Try a few of my classic recipes if you want to easily separate food in hopes of your kiddo trying a vegetable to get that dessert after dinner.
Chicken and Pesto Skillet Dinner, Farmers Market Pasta, Creamy Tomato Pasta with Sausage or my Southwest Chicken Mac N Cheese. The recipe pictured above is called Newport Beach Chicken that was developed from MealDiva.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://sundaysuppermovement.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Tammi1.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Tammi was born and raised in New England and is a Stay At Home Mom. She blogs at Momma’s Meals about her experiences with parenthood; the good, the not so good and the “who said mommahood came with a recipe moments?” She also takes care of Client Services and Billing for Sunday Supper. [/author_info] [/author]