Oh it can be one of the most frustrating parts of parenthood—trying to feed your child! Though it seems like feeding time should be a seamless part of parenting, when you have a picky child it can wreak havoc on everything. It may seem like everything you offer your little one is thrown on the ground or refused. You might feel like a short order cook with a very unhappy customer. So what can you do to overcome this parenting obstacle? How can you feed this picky child that only wants to eat carbs at every sitting?
I get it because I am there myself and have been trying to feed my sweet but very picky boy for four years now. If it were up to him he would eat nothing but crackers and other carbohydrate based products. Sometimes I feel like I’m losing my mind when even the simplest food is met with resistance. The best advice I can offer is to try somehow to stay calm and to be persistent in your offerings too. What they don’t like today they may actually grow to eat down the line.
I’m not saying that there aren’t some stressful meal times—they are plenty! I try hard to focus on some of the core things that he likes which offer some sort of nutritional value. He loves nuts of all kinds, so he mostly eats like a squirrel at lunch. I try to offer a spoonful of peanut butter with that frozen waffle that he so loves, and sometimes that helps to just get some protein in him.
Do Your Best But Sometimes Your Situation Is Unique
Experts will tell you to try to hide healthy foods in their favorite dishes. Trust me when I tell you that this doesn’t always work. You can try and you should try, but sometimes the pickiest (and super smart) kids will see right through that and pick it out anyhow. It’s worth the try and maybe they fall for it, but it doesn’t always work. I’ve tried smoothies, grinding up veggies for sauces, and everything of the like and he’ll refuse.
We do try a “thank you bite” where he has to take just one bite of something. If he doesn’t like it he won’t ever have to eat it again. Again good strategy—but there are some days where I don’t feel like listening to the torturous cry of my sweet baby boy as if I have just given him something awful. I try when I can, but it often results in him spitting it out or acting as if I gave him something that tasted like dirt.
What I can say is this—find the healthy foods that they actually like and try to center around them. As our pediatrician has told us, if he’s growing then it’s all okay. We center around the few fruits and veggies he will eat, offer up his favorite hot dog (no judging please), string cheese, and nuts. I do my best and fill in the gaps whenever possible. I know that he’s growing and so I have to take some comfort in that.
I have pulled my hair out, but I also know that offering a vitamin helps each day. So know that they will (likely) not be this picky for the rest of their life. You will survive this, so just keep trying your best. Offer up their favorites that are actually healthy and try new things when you can. Sometimes a kid is just picky and that’s all there is to it. You do your best and that makes you a good mama—and know that your kid will be just fine and that they may even be laughing at the feeding game inside too!