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Raising a Picky Eater

Our Young Picky Eater

One of our children was an incredibly picky eater at an early age. For a sustained number of years, his diet consisted primarily of chicken fingers (we bought the healthiest ones we could find) and peanut butter on Ritz crackers.

Yes, we are quite aware that is not an optimal diet for a growing child.

We tried every reasonable incentive we could imagine—positive and negative—to encourage him to diversify his palette. He won. His will was stronger than ours. Given the choice between going hungry and eating green vegetables, he would go hungry.

Well, you might say, you guys weren’t tough enough. Let him go hungry long enough and he will eat rather than starve. Maybe so; but we weren’t inclined to push things that far.

Another factor was at play. We have always thought family meal times are incredibly important. When our children were young, we tried to have a sit down family dinner with our children whenever possible. This, we believe, is an occasion to be together as a family and to share stories and concerns. Preserving a happy and regular experience around the family dinner table was more important to us than having a pitched-battle, night after night, over chicken fingers.

How is He Now?

Guess what? Our son is now a healthy, fully grown adult. And he probably has the most diverse palette of anyone in our family. He is willing to try almost anything.

Life is long. It is helpful to keep these things in perspective. While in the middle of some tussle with a child, it is worthwhile remembering that we don’t know how things will ultimately turn out. And less is in our control than we might like to think.

How about your family? Are you raising a picky eater? Do you ever wonder if your child is the only one doing something? Do other kids do this?

Photo Credit: Pixabay

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