The Daily Struggles of Having A Picky Eater

Yesterday I met with some colleagues to discuss new approaches to combating childhood obesity.  The concept is to work with mothers who are pregnant and help them during the first two years of a child’s life with healthy eating.  While we are not sure what this intervention is going to look like, the concept, in my opinion, is brilliant.  Not to mention, very necessary.

Feeding children is hard work.  They are little people with big opinions about everything.  And they can control what goes into their bodies.  For some kids, the struggle that mealtimes brings is somewhat of a sport.  Crazy, right.

The thrill of telling Mom and Dad- I don’t like it, it looks gross, and it smells disgusting-is fun.  Kids get a reaction from the adults who give them so much attention.  They want to see if they have the power to change what is on their plate.  And in many cases, this strategy actually works!

While I like the ideas that this author presents, I challenge you to rethink the actual mealtime struggle.  My famous line is “It’s my job to feed you healthy food to fuel your body.  Sometimes you won’t like everything, but you need to eat good food.”

Do you have any good tips for parents struggling to feed their children healthy foods?

For more insights, here is the article I mentioned.

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Joyeux Parenting

I am the proud mother of two beautiful children and have lived in Boston for most of my life. I have over twenty years of experience as a Child Development Specialist working with new families, pediatricians at Mass General Hospital, and Early Intervention. I have a wealth of knowledge and expertise regarding the challenges related to breastfeeding, behavior management, picky eaters, discipline, sleep, and development. I love being a wife and mother and sharing my experiences-the good, the bad, and the ugly. I am constantly learning about new evidence based information as it relates to parenting. Most importantly, I think it is crucial to recognize that we all make mistakes and learn from them. I am a firm believer that humor is essential as you navigate the world. Parenting should be full of joy and that is why I started my business Joyeux Parenting. Thank you for allowing me to share my experiences with you.

One thought on “The Daily Struggles of Having A Picky Eater”

  1. My best advice is …. to be bored with the subject. The less you truly grit your teeth, the less power they hold over you. If t he snacking is controlled, the liquid bottle or cup intake is in the right range, they will eat when they are hungry. They will not starve. Perhaps there is a backup food like yogurt that can always be the option but then you have to allow the option to be used….. a lot. Put healthy food on the table, eat it yourself, give them the control to choose it without “losing face” to your wanting them to choose it. A wise pediatrician, Dr. T Berry, once told us, “you can’t make a child sleep, eat or use the toilet; all you can do is act like the bumper of a tug boat and nudge them into the lane.”


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