Dealing with a picky eater can be a parent’s greatest challenge. Should I force him to eat the offending food? Should I cave in and let her grow up eating nothing but corn flakes and marshmallows? Meal times are the perfect time for family bonding. Don’t spoil those times for the entire family by letting this issue be the focus. Here are five tips to help you.
- Get the picky eater involved in meal prep. If you’ve chopped all the vegetables for a salad, for example, let him add them to the bowl. How can he say No to what he made himself!
- Approach each meal with a positive attitude. If you go in feeling tense and defeated, you’re just asking for trouble!
- Be happy with “just one bite.” While forcing a child to eat does not work, many parents have had success with requiring the child to take “just one bite.”
- Ban words like “yuck” and “gross” at the table. Disliking a food is no excuse for bad manners.
- Never negotiate, nag, argue, beg, plead or punish. Just let it be known that the meal on the table is the only food that will be served; no other food will be available until the next meal.
If you find yourself at your wits’ end, step away from the table and pull yourself together. Don’t let your picky eater turn the dinner table into a battleground.