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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

10 Ways to Have Your Very Own Picky Eater

10 Ways to Have Your Very Own Picky Eater by Kim Foster, , The Yummy Mummy.

Published on “the imperfect parent” magazine.

You know, I envy moms who complain their children won’t eat spinach or turn their noses up at pot roast. The ones who worry that little Tommy might fall over, looking all pale and emaciated, because he’s eaten nothing but Cheddar Bunnies and plain ramen noodles for the last eight days.

These women know challenge. Like climbing Everest with nothing but a bathing suit and a can opener. Or sailing around the world in a dingy. A dingy with a hole in it. The sheer experience of having to force feed your kid under the threat of tantrums, silent treatments and episodes of holding their breath until they pass out, not to mention just enduring three meals a day with a kid who won’t eat anything but frozen waffles, must make them just better parents and more centered people, simply because they are going against the monster everyday and living to tell the tale.

That kind of pain breeds real maturity.

So, I want you, dear readers, to have the same opportunity to become better, more well-rounded people through challenge. So, here is how you can cultivate and grow your very own obstacle-making, tantrum-throwing, spinach-hiding, fussy eater and be a better, more well-rounded person in the process.

10 Ways to Have Your Very Own Picky Eater

10. Remind your kid what a problem eater he is. Kids love that. In fact, tell him in front of guests. Call him “picky”, fussy”, “difficult at dinner time” or say things like, “He’s like this because he’s adopted,” and my personal favorite, “He’s just like his father,” and then, roll your eyes dramatically. You will only have to label him a few times before he sullenly looks at his plate of food, pushes it away and demands to be hand-fed McDonald's French fries. If this works, you can go the next step and tell him he is “bad” or “a demon seed” and remind him that he was an “accident”.

9. Put him on the Snicker and Tootsie Pop diet. There is nothing to make a kid love healthy food more than pounding sugar for hours before meal time. I mean, you just want to fill them up, so they aren’t all crying and whining for food, right? So, if they won’t eat your green bean casserole, let him have that Hershey bar. No biggie. I mean, the almonds are protein after all.

8. If you are going to give your kids veggies, take my advice -- pass up all that fresh farmers market stuff and give them vegetables from a can. Kids love vegetables from a can. Especially the soggy, bendy asparagus the color of a green suburban mini-van. And those lima beans! Those babies will turn them off good foods until they are 30. Go with that. Remember, embrace the challenge.

7. On the subject of vegetables, kids love them best when you steam them. A lot. And serve them in a heap on a plate all bland and limp. Or you can nuke them good in the microwave and… To read more, click here.

You might also want to read these posts:
Stuffed peppers – a picky eater's nightmare?
Kids menu – Is it good for them? Is it good for you?
Encourage good eating
U-pick farms
Simplest vegetable salad
NY Times: Picky Eaters? They Get It From You
Some thoughts about parents and picky eaters


Kim Foster said...

Nurit -

First, thanks for the wonderful e-mail you sent me. I am so happy to have met you through Imperfect Parent and I love your beautiful pictures and really relevant and compelling discussions of food and recipes.

Second, I love that you wanted to re-print this article here, only because I do think it is important to talk through these issues. Every parent knows about picky eating and it is good to poke fun at it and also share ideas for how to remedy it.

I appreciate so much that you are such a bright and creative voice in all of this. And a new blogger friend to me.

I look forward to the discussion.

The Yummy Mummy

World Flavors said...

Hi Kim,
I love your blog too ;). It’s smart, sharp, witty and funny.

About kids and food, yeah, it is very easy to forget our sense of humor when these little kiddies are challenging us on a daily basis, food and otherwise.
That article was a great reminder to joke about it a bit.
Sometimes I get frustrated. It is easier to know what NOT to do than what TO DO. We have our ups and downs.
I think the most important thing is to do out thing and enjoy food. The kids will pick that from us. They might change as they grow. I didn’t like stuffed peppers when I was a kid (Stuffed peppers – a picky eater's nightmare?), and look at me now…