One Way Out of an Intense Picky Eater “Phase”
I have heard parents say this many times when we discuss
the eating habits of their "picky eater:"
"Hes/she used to eat (preferred food), but not anymore! Now I can
barely get them to eat or try anything new. He/she eats the same things over
Our family has been dealing with this at home with our
two-year-old picky eater. She is refusing foods, such as peaches and raviolis,
which she normally gobbles up! She has also become increasingly more resistant
to new foods. She will tell me "I don't like it" pushing the plate away.
However, the reality is, she barely looked at it and certainly did not taste it!
If my little one doesn't like the way it looks, there is no way she is going to
Experiencing all of this on the home front has caused not
only some frustration, but has also inspired me to take a new look at how I
have been handling things. I have worked very hard to fill my daughter's plate
with organic and healthy choices: fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats,
whole grains, etc. She has never had soda and I limit her opportunities to eat
sweets, aside from the occasional butter cookie or cinnamon graham cracker.
Over the Christmas holiday, we visited numerous relatives
and she was exposed to a wide variety of goodies. Now that she is getting a
little older, she began asking for "cookie," "cupcake," "coffee ice cream"
(yes, coffee ice cream!) as she watched family members and her older cousins
enjoying the dessert table.
Although I was not really happy she was reaching for the
cookies instead of the carrot sticks, after several weeks of consistent and
pervasive food refusal, I was elated that she actually wanted to try something
So, as event after event passed, I decided two things:
- To lighten up and let her try some new
- To use the sweets to encourage her to eat
healthy foods (e.g., "If you eat all your peas, you can have a cookie,").
Here are some of the new sweets that my daughter tried
(and liked!) over the last 2 weeks or so:
Hot chocolate - I filled her cup with half milk,
half hot cocoa made with water and she loved it!
Marshmallows - she would never try these before,
but suddenly decided she wanted to and loved them - great little food to use as
incentive to eat healthy using "if, then" method.
and chocolate spread, which we put on graham crackers and toast, mixed with
peanut butter! She loved it.
Reese peanut butter (mini) cup - found this in a
stocking at my parents' house. Wanted me to unwrap it so she could taste it.
She loved it.
Now, I am in no way encouraging you to fill your child's
belly with chocolate and sugar, BUT variety is the spice of life and choosing a
few safe sweets for your little one to taste may just be what is needed to pull
them out of an intense picky eating "phase"!