Dealing With a Picky Eater
We've all been there, fitting macaroni and cheese and chicken nuggets into the weekly menu and STILL the complaints from our picky eaters drone on: What is this? Do I have to eat it? I'm allergic to green food. Broccoli makes my throat hurt.
Enough of that. Time to get tough on your picky eaters. Our nation is in the midst of an obesity epidemic. Our kids will not starve or be malnourished if they refuse to eat their dinner occasionally. Draw your line in the nutritional sand. Make a healthy dinner that YOU want to eat. If they don't like it, tough noogies.
Oh, and while you're back to reclaiming dinnertime, squelch the squawking. Tell your little monsters that the "whining zone" is in the garage. If they want to whine and kvetch about dinner, they can head out with the paint cans and yard tools and grouse away.
Be strong, parents! You can do it! Stake your claim on the dinner table. This is the place to talk and share details from your day. This is not the place for a stalemate over peas and meatloaf. Your munchkins will soon learn that resistance is futile. Don't give in with the offer of an alternative of cereal or pb&j. If they are truly hungry they will eat what you offer.
You can still be merciful in your dinner negotiations, though. There's nothing wrong with a little dessert to sweeten the deal IF the veggies are consumed AND there's no complaining. Keep the sweets simple, small, and healthful (we like yogurt and fruit parfaits or fruit juice pops), and you've got a little more leverage without giving up ground.
The going may be tough at first, but soon you will find yourself next to a five-year-old asking for more salad ("please") while discussing the highlights of your day. Then you will know that even better than dessert is the sweet taste of victory.
Want to read more about picky eating? Check out our picky eaters page for related info.