There are many reasons why kids shun their food. To end your dinner-table battles, you’ll need to know which kind of choosy eater you’re dealing with—and how our low-stress strategies can help.
Parents of picky eaters, you’re not alone. You’re not failing. We see you. The struggle is real.
Here’s our story. When my daughter turned nine months, she stopped breast feeding (completely refusing my precious mommy milk) and during the same time, willingness to explore new tastes and textures. It literally happened over night where her sense of adventure to eat new foods had disappeared, and what she already tasted was where she drew the line.
As she got older, her choice of foods decreased to a point where the only things that she would allow into her body was oats, a peanut butter sandwich, fish fingers or yogurt. I took her to the paediatrician for a general check-up. She was as fit as a fiddle, reached all her physical milestones, remained on her growth markers, and kept on gaining weight as she was supposed to.
We tried everything, EV-ERY-THING! Her grandparents advised, friends advised, to the point where we even got her to watch her cousins eat over video call. Buying a new highchair, buying a new table and chair in her favourite colours. Eating at the table, eating on the mat. Eating in the garden, eating out of different plates and bowls, using new cutlery. We were desperate for answers, I mean – as parents one of our primary responsibilities is to feed our children – and I felt like I was failing on a daily basis.
Our final grab of hope was to send her to a “picky eating school”. I made the appointment and was ready for this new adventure where she was going to be re-introduced to new flavours, textures and develop a palate that invites new food experiences.
Yet, my mommy-heart was not calm about this… I cancelled the appointment and decided to properly investigate OUR situation. The answer was clear and simple.
- As long as she is healthy, growing and loved, she is going to be okay.
- I realised that I’m imprinting the societal pressures of perfect motherhood onto her – and she is NO show pony. Does it really matter if my two-year-old refuses the cucumber and chooses her fish fingers…?
- Body image and developing a healthy relationship with your body is more important than the million tears, debates, compromises, and complete food strikes.
- Finally, I need to maintain a healthy relationship with my child. Alienating her, while she needs me most is not going to change our situation.
A year down the line, my four-point answer, was the perfect solution. Once I dropped the pressure on her, she became more accepting to trying new foods, her curiosity to trying out things on my plate has grown and mealtime has no more tears and frustration. I’m pretty sure we will share a salad when she is seventeen, but for now I’m happy because my daughter is a happy little girl.
Franchise owner of Clamber Club Toddlers – Lynnwood