Almost all moms become frustrated when it happens. They were doing everything according to the doctors’, their friends’, other moms’, online articles’ recommendations on feeding their children. Naturally, it comes as a surprise when some kids will suddenly reject food that they were gobbling up just days before. It’s even more of a surprise when I say that there’s hope for picky eaters.
I have picky eaters.
When my babies reached six months, I made baby food for them. I pureed pumpkin, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, chayote, cauliflower, etc. They had fruits like mashed banana. There was also beef or pork tenderloin soup, devoid of seasonings and blended with rice. I made sure they had vegetables.
But, somewhere between the first foray into solid foods and the regular meals, was the rejection of green food. The only vegetable reluctantly consumed was the carrot. Not green!
I have a kid who picked out vegetables from the spoon. She instinctively spit out leafy greens mixed with food that she likes. My trickery did not work! She also didn’t put tomato-based spaghetti sauce on her spaghetti noodles. Only grated cheese on pasta.
My other kid had a limited menu. He ate only rice, eggs, potatoes, carrots and spaghetti. He doesn’t eat meat before – just the meat in the spaghetti sauce, and only processed ones like SPAM, Vienna sausage, and hotdogs; which we consume occasionally.
And then, there’s this child who tries every food, sure! But, she eats too little at meal times. Like me, she loves snacks. A little too much, though. Is that also called a picky eater?
Time is on our side…
As my children grew older, talking them into “trying something of everything, and eating everything of something” became easier. They now understand the need for healthy food.
I am happy to report that they drink vegetable + fruit juices made with a slow juicer. They also eat, albeit a small amount of various vegetables. The kid who had limited menu expanded it to include fried fish, chicken, pork and beef.
Somewhere along the journey from rejection into acceptance of more food choices, maybe once or twice negotiating didn’t work and one of them got a spank.
It also depends on the child’s learning style. Some could be persuaded with just words, some need tough love. Most follow by example.
Keep on keeping on.
Don’t give up, mamas! Hope for picky eaters may just be on the other side of that bowl of sinigang soup.
- Keep offering a variety of food to them, even if they decline. I have been doing this for years and I didn’t notice.
- Always stress the effects of food, especially the vegetables.
- For many years, my kids have fruits as their snacks almost every day, morning and afternoon. I did this because they are picky eaters. If not vegetables, why not fruits? Although fruits have natural sugar, they also contain fiber, vitamins and minerals.
- My children do not drink sinigang soup. But, when my hubby and I went to South Africa, they stayed at my parents’ house. They came back changed little persons and would slurp up their sour soup. Maybe a little change of environment could change their taste.
- They won’t eat EVERYTHING! Even grown-ups do not eat everything. The spaghetti lover still doesn’t want carbonara. The kids and their dad do not share my love for Hunt’s canned pork & beans. I do not eat dinuguan.
- I guess eating everything is not the goal, but keeping our family healthy is. And, probably, a healthy attitude towards food, like being adventurous enough to try various cuisines.
Well, our journey isn’t over yet. Related to health, and food, is exercise. As of now, the children’s exercise is swimming once a week. It would be better if they are more active.
Mommies, what are your experiences with your child(ren) and food? Do you believe there is hope for picky eaters?