Have a look at this meal. To me, this meal looks delicious. Everything is homemade from the hummus to the quinoa to the shrimp. Love was literally poured onto this plate. But guess what... do my kids care? No.
Ok, let me rephrase that: do my kids care about having a well rounded meal that's homemade and oozing with love? Still no.
Do I care? Yes, I mean obviously.
What I care about in a meal and what my kids care about in a meal are two very different things. Here are some important factors in a meal for my children:
- Keep food seperate, not touching, especially with my son.
- Prefer raw veggies to cooked
- Sea salt... they like sea salt.
Here are some important factors to me:
- Variety in flavours and textures
- Exposure to new foods... and even unpopular foods
- Home cooked food with variety of nutrient
- Using whole foods, fresh fruits and veggies
- Using quality meat
- Consuming a lot of plant-based foods
To be honest, my list could go on. But these are my main points.
I am doing my best and trying my hardest to avoid producing a pick eater... even though I currently live with one. My three year old likes what he likes and likes to eat the same things over and over. We went through this experience with my now six year old, but she was always a more adventurous eater, which we see now.
When I get a meal ready for the family it can be challenging to take into consideration everyone's like and dislikes, which is why I don't really do that. Sorry kids. But do always make sure to have something on their plate that they like. At least that gets them to the table, even for just a moment.
And as easy as it would be for me to cave into their whines for something different, I've learned a whole wack of strategies that are helping to get me through these challenging picky eater times.
First strategy? Be more stubborn that your toddler. Seriously, it works.
I'm not talking about getting into a power struggle because those are pointless. It's about standing your ground in a loving way and letting them know that this house, my kitchen, is not a restaurant. Although it might appear to be that way sometimes through my social media photos, I assure you it's not. Kids have choices and meal time is a great time to exercise those choices.
To eat, or not to eat... that is the question.
Stubbornness aside, tricks do help because tricks actually work. And it doesn't require a wand and a magic potion that's impossible to find, just practical strategies to help create a well rounded palate and mind that's open to new foods and possibilities.
These strategies, which have been tried and tested on my own children have saved me countless hours of stress. Seriously. And sometimes it's one strategy that works, like choices, and sometimes it's the many others that quietly sit in my back pocket.
Come listen and learn about how to curb picky eating. Meal times might still cause sweating but you'll be able to see a the rainbow through the sweat... does that even make sense?
I would love to hear from you. What are your biggest challenges around meal time with your kids? What forms of pickiness are you dealing with? Feel feel to share and comment below.