They say that children will get enough calories and nutrients even if they’re picky eaters, if they eat peanut butter and banana sandwiches every meal, every day, for three weeks. Children sometimes feel there is not enough control they can exert in their lives. Picky eaters, often, are exerting control. However, I have some hints for helping your kids learn to try things; this is not easy, but you are the parent, you have a job to do here, and the synonym of parent is not best friend.
Ask your child what sorts of dinners they like to eat.
Let your child help you decide which meal to schedule in which day of the week and give your child small jobs in prepping the food, stiring, helping set the table etc.
Do not respond to whining about any foodstuff.
“Ewwwwwww! I hate that! It’s gross!” doesn’t win parental attention and concern, it wins disapproval and a lack of being able to share a meal with the family.
Never utter anything like “he is so picky”.
Quit reinforcing any supposed dislike; quit giving the child a built-in excuse for not doing something you, his parent, want him to do.
Analyze the noise environment.
When my child was 3, he could not eat if there was a lot of talking going on. It was as if his brain shut down.
Try, try again: It creates what I call palate memory.
I couldn’t stand eggplant as a little girl but my mom would make it and we had to try it whenever she did. Now I love it!
Try not to label foods good or bad at our house.
We explain what happens when you eat too much sugar and carbs vs protein, fruits and veggies.
Keep in touch with your doctor if you’re worried that your child isn’t gaining enough weight, but don’t convey your concerns to your child.The only exceptions I can think of is in the case where allergies or severe food aversion due to a past experience.