Monday, April 11, 2016

Picky Eaters

My friends really came through for me with some excellent advice in regard to picky eaters.  I wrote it all down to process through everything they said, and today I'm sharing it with you.  There is bound to be something on this list that you can implement in your home if you are dealing with a picky eater.

Make sure they have healthy snacks.  This is the first place to cut out the junk.

Try to serve a veggie or fruit they like at every meal.

Ease in.  Don't serve an entire new menu in one setting and expect them to like it.

Have them cook with you.  Sometimes it's not the food, but the way we fix it.

Eat or don't eat, but this is all you get until breakfast.

Teach them this message, "Be thankful God chose to let you eat today."

Communicate mealtime and table expectations before you sit down.  Think through what your family rules are, and then communicate them clearly before mealtime.  They may need gentle reminders during the actual meal itself, but train them in a setting before the table. 

You may need to stop all snacks until they learn to eat at mealtime.

Take a bite of everything.

Eat what is served.

Offer a "no thank you" helping that scales to the size of the eater.  Once that is finished they can have more servings of the other choices.

They will eat if they are hungry!

I am not a short order cook, so eat or don't eat, but this is all I am making tonight.

It takes up to 15 times to develop a new taste for some foods.  Keep serving and keep trying.

Missing a meal or two will not hurt them.

Make the meal I want to make and have at least one item the picky one(s) like.  Put the things they don't like on their plates, they will come around and develop a taste for those foods.

Implement Ellyn Satter's Division of Responsibility in Feeding:

The parent is responsible for what, when, where.

The child is responsible for how much and whether.

Parent's Feeding Jobs:
  • Choose and prepare the food.
  • Provide regular meals and snacks.
  • Make eating times pleasant.
  • Step-by-step, show children by example how to behave at family mealtime.
  • Be considerate of children's lack of food experience without catering to likes and dislikes.
  • Do not let children have food or beverages (except for water) between meal and snack times.
  • Let children grow up to get bodies that are right for them.
Children's Eating Jobs:
  • Children will eat.
  • They will eat the amount they need.
  • They will learn to eat the food their parents eat.
  • They will grow predictably.
  • They will learn to behave well at mealtime.

Step by step through their growing up years, they build on their natural ability and become eating competent.

©2016 by Ellyn Satter published at

Ellyn Satter's Division of Responsibility material was taken from this site.  It is a great article with useful information that is easy to apply and understand.

Love me, Feed me by Katja Rowell, was recommended as a book resource if you are looking for further encouragement.

Thank you to all of my friends who took the time to offer words of encouragement on this subject.  I think your wisdom is going to help other mama's who are struggling in this department!  Three cheers for Blue Bell broccoli!