Do you have a picky eater? Are you worried your child will never get any nutrition and will eat only white food for the rest of her life? Or is p, b, and j your son’s only staple?
Keeping our children healthy and well fed tops the list of any parent’s job description. Every trick in the book seems fair game when a worried parent attempts to get food down a resistant child’s throat. The problem is that with sleeping, toileting, and eating, children have ultimate control and they know it. It’s rare that a parent doesn’t have a struggle in one of these areas. We have to learn to respect that control yet encourage healthy habits.
First and foremost is the parent’s perception of the problem. When a child is not eating what we think they should, we tend to panic. But he’s got to get a vegetable in at least once in awhile. She’ll never grow if she eats like a bird. I’m not a short-order cook! Why do we have to go through this at every meal?
The parent’s job is to trust. Trust that the child won’t starve herself. Trust that only a little of each food group is required and over a longer period of time than just one day. Trust that development plays a big part in both resistance and acceptance of certain foods. And trust that this stage will end.