My son is a picky eater. I shouldn’t say picky, he actually eater a wider variety of foods than my 19 year old sister. When he was just starting to eat solid foods, I was one of those moms who thought she would make all of his baby food jars just gross me out. And I did it! It was a great experience and I 100% enjoyed it. I frequented farmer’s markets and tried to buy local when I could. My son got the purest possible foods with the most minimal amount of additives. For those first few months to a year he would eat anything and everything I would put on his plate or plop in front of him.
Flash forward to today and I am in pancake and hotdog hell. Now that my little guy talks, I give him choices of meals, which he usually shoots down and says “uh, mommy, I tink I want some…..(long pause)…pancakes!”. Sometimes I dig myself in a hole and just ask him what he wants, when I know the answer is “pancakes mommy!”. 90% of the time he will respond with “pancakes mommy!” or “mommy hotdogs!”. I haven’t got the faintest idea why pancakes, but hotdogs I get. Nitrates, human DNA and all, I love me some hotdogs! Everything in moderation right?
My son is also starting to do this thing with his face when he doesn’t like something. He makes the same face if I try to sneak something into his food that he isn’t aware of, and it’s a different texture than he’s used to. Case in point: I try to sneak veggies and healthy stuff EVERYWHERE, in everything he eats. Like in his pancakes i put different fruits, and instead of chips with his hot dogs, I give him carrots. Well, the other day I made these pizza rolls and decided I would chop up some broccoli extra, extra fine and toss it into the sauce. He won’t even notice I thought. I thought It was a win for mommy. Well, I thought wrong. The crazy thing is that he eats broccoli! It’s his go to vegetable. He loves to eat “munchy, crunchy, carrots and broccoli” So I couldn’t figure out why he wouldn’t eat it! #momfail
I struggle to keep that healthy balance during meal times. I want my son to eat a variety of foods, and be open to trying new things. I try to eat healthy and make healthy foods so that he sees it on a daily basis. Who knew it would be such hard (and expensive) thing to accomplish! I make it a daily goal to make sure that my son is eating at least ONE healthy food choice at all meal times.
Here are 10 things we do:
- No or very little juice is kept in our house along with a cup of water on the dining table at all times to encourage water drinking.
- People eat because they are bored, USUALLY. We try to keep him engaged and busy until the next meal time. Helps his appetite to be at the optimal level during meal time.
- Fruits are prepped, cut and available at all times just in case he wants a snack.
- I put all mom approved snacks in a bin in the bottom of the fridge that he can see. Apple Sauce, Fruits, Vegetables, Juices, Etc. Dry snacks are in a cupboard.
- A vegetable or fruit is always offered on the side of what he is eating.
- If he just so happens to find something like candy or cookies, he can have one ONLY if he eats something healthy first or all of his meal first. I will then give him an option of fruit or vegetable.
- All the candy/cookies are hidden! Out of sight, out of mind!
- Dessert only happens if he eats dinner, and I mean ALL of his dinner. It’s not even brought up until after dinner, OR if he’s having a super tantrum and won’t eat.
- I test new recipes and have him cook and try it with me.
- I sit and eat with him and talk about what he’s eating. I encourage him to take a bite of something he seems to be neglecting.