Put an End to Fighting Over Food

Having a very picky eater is hard on the whole family. The whining, the arguing, the crying; it has to stop! Fixing a picking eater is actually very simple. The hard part is implementation.

Stand your ground

How often does this happen in your house:

“Here’s your supper! I made chicken and veggies!”

“NOOOOOOO!! I want mac n cheeeeese!!”

You already made supper for your family, you’re not happy that your toddler won’t even try it, you’re tired and ready to go to bed, but you still have to give the kids a bath and clean the kitchen.

“Fine. Just eat some mac n cheese.”

I know it’s so hard to reason with your toddler at the end of a long day. So don’t do it. But don’t give in either. When your little picky eater gets his way after fussing about his food, he becomes the one in charge. A toddler doesn’t need that much control.

To fix a picky eater, say this…

He needs to understand that you are still in charge. So don’t give him something else to eat. Instead say, “This is what we are having for supper tonight. All of us. If you don’t want it then you don’t have to eat it. But I am not making anything else and I will not allow you to cry and fuss about this.”

That will never work

I know, I know. “It won’t work.” Well, I’m hear to tell you that you’re wrong. It WILL work. You have to MAKE it work!

In all honesty, if your toddler is already accustomed to only eating things he likes, then this will be difficult in the beginning. But if you want to fix your picky eater for good, it’s necessary.

Of course I’m not telling you to force your child to eat food he absolutely hates. But I’m assuming you’re serving him pretty basic menu items (chicken, veggies, fruit, pasta, sandwiches, etc.).

And if you tell your toddler that you’re not going to allow him to cry and fuss about what you’ve served, then don’t allow him to cry and fuss about it. If he won’t stop, then don’t let him sit at the table with everyone else.

Don’t force him to eat it either. If he’s hungry, he will eat. And if he doesn’t, well, it won’t take many mornings of waking up hungry to make him change his mind. If you are consistent, he will stop complaining about what you’ve made for supper.

The dinner table is for family time

In our house, the dinner table is where we gather to eat together, share stories, express feelings of joy or concern, and grow closer together as a family. It is a special place where our family grows tighter. Because of this, whining about the food is never acceptable.

As a busy parent, you have to maintain the non-negotiable aspects of your daily life. A peaceful experience during supper should be a non-negotiable.

As I said before, implementing this is going to harder for some parents than others. But hang in there! If you do this consistently and don’t give in to your toddler’s cries for something else, it will work. You CAN fix your picky eater by doing this and restore peace during meal time!

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

For tips on picky eating read this fantastic article by Care.com.

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