Dealing with Picky Eaters

I always wonder how some people get away with not eating certain things. My mother was Margaret Thatcher when I was growing up. I eat everything and I clear my plate. I am not a mummy yet but I learnt some things. The truth is most times parents create picky eaters.

A child may reject certain foods a few times and we conclude the meal is off limits. Children would be children and that sometimes means acting out in ways we may not be able to understand or explain.

How To Handle Picky Eaters

You should know these;

1. You don't run a restaurant

At mealtime, tell your kids "This is what's for dinner. If you don't like it, that's fine; you don't have to eat it. But there is nothing else." They can decide for themselves whether to eat the food in front of them or wait until the next opportunity. Of course, it helps to consider their tastes when planning a meal, making sure that—in addition to the new recipe you're trying—at least one or two of the other offerings are tried-and-true favorites.

2. You can spice things up

True, kids have delicate taste buds, but that doesn't mean they need to be served a steady diet of Indomie (even if that's all they ask for). In fact, it's all the more reason to give them flavorful food; children really notice when something tastes good because of their naturally sensitive palates.

3. Give vegetables

I have experimented with my little cousins and I sneakily added vegetables. I've had success with delicious main dishes, such as garden egg layered with spiced minced beef, I've made lots of vegetable-based sauces for spaghetti. I have made curry sauce with green pepper, carrots, cauliflower. I am getting hungry just typing.

4. Try to eat together

Children like to copy parents or older ones. If they are of age, serve them the same things you would eat. This means you should be eating food that would be nutritious.

5. You have to try one bite

And no more, if what your child tastes makes him or her vomit. Some mothers I know are so worried they won't be able to tell the difference between genuine revulsion and mere stubbornness that they let their kids off the hook too quickly. Let the child know he doesn't have to finish, and praise him for giving it a try. Let them taste it at least.

6. If all fails,use bribery (and don't feel guilty)

• No icecream if you don't eat a good amount of dinner.

• No seconds until you try a little of everything—but then seconds can be whatever part of the meal you like most.

• Or, the most mysteriously effective one of all, "I see you're not eating your chicken. Mind if I give it to your brother?" at which point, some inexplicable competitive urge kicks in and the child (some) polishes off everything on his plate.

7. Save room for dessert.

I can't lie: Ice cream, chocolates often tastes better than anything on the planet. Still not everything in life is sweet even with food. So try to expand their taste palette.


I sincerely wish you good luck in handling picky eaters.