Feeding a Picky Eater

by Renee Ross | March 6, 2012 at 3:24 pm | comments

My son is a picky eater: he only has a few things he’ll eat and they’re on constant rotation. On any given day he’ll change his mind about what he likes, and it’s nearly impossible to predict! For a long time I was worried about his eating habits, and meal times were stressful for me. My concern was alleviated when his pediatrician told me children eat when they’re hungry and will not starve themselves to death. When I looked at it in that light, I became less concerned about the amount he ate and more concerned that he got his daily nutritional requirements.

Initially, I supplemented his mini-meals with protein shakes. Luckily he loves grapes, bananas (sometimes), carrots and watermelon, so he gets fruits and veggies. I must admit, though, that he does enjoy chicken nuggets and his fair share of French fries, too. He also eats breakfast foods like pancakes, waffles and turkey sausage.

Although his diet may seem limited, I do the best that I can with him. One thing I do is offer him some of whatever I am eating. Most times he says no, but sometimes he surprises me. Recently he totally shocked me when he indulged in eating crabs with my mother and I. Whenever she visits we stop by our favorite seafood spot and enjoy a seafood boil. We spread out on the table in the family room and jump into the corn, potato and seafood goodness. The first time we offered him some he quickly refused, but the second time he asked for some before we had the chance to offer!

Now, whenever grandma visits he asks for seafood. This completely excites me because I’m sure his picky eating is a phase (a long one, but a phase nonetheless). I will continue to offer my son different foods and be optimistic that he’ll slowly start to try new things. I do not, however, solely rely on his change of heart regarding food.

One of my favorite tricks is to make muffins and add pureed vegetables or protein to the mix. My son is none the wiser, and I can be comfortable knowing I’m getting some of his veggies in. At the end of the day, with my picky eater I am flexible. I give him the things that I know he enjoys, offer him new foods and am hopeful he will grow out of this phase. Most importantly, I no longer stress about having a picky eater, and if you have one I suggest you don’t stress either!

What tips do you have to feed your picky eaters? Share your strategies in the comments below!

A self-confessed social media junkie, Renee leverages the power of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to raise awareness of important social and health-related causes. Over the last year, Renée has lost over 50 pounds and utilized social media to document her journey.