Meal Planning for a Picky Eater
Tell me if this happens to you too?!!?!? You ask your child, "what would you like for lunch?" And they either give you an answer you don't like (Froot Loops) or once you make what they want (Grill Cheese) ... they change their mind won't eat it!
UGGGHHHH, frustrating. Feels like a waste of time making meals!!
There is another way to do this! It can feel good for everyone and builds a foundation for a positive relationship with food.
Here's what you do. Make a list of all the foods your child can eat and enjoy most of the time. You can even ask for their input here. Then simply plan meals that YOU, the parent, want to eat. To be kind and compassionate towards your picky eater (and in the name of less meal time battles everywhere) include 1-2 foods off the list with your meal.
This will create a few positive experiences for you and your child ❤️
-Trust. Your child will begin to trust that there will always be something for them at the table
-Comfort. It can be scary to come to a table and see nothing familiar
-Confidence. You are still doing your job of the WHAT, WHEN, WHERE of feeding and your child can jump in with eating
-With these foundations and boundaries set out, the meal time experience changes. Your child will be more willing to come to the table and stay at the table. They can be exposed to all the family foods, especially if you are using family style service.
The main question I get next is, "What if they only eat their preferred food?" And my answer is that's ok. Because. It's not your job to get them to eat the other foods, and if you were to try and do that...it would not be pleasant. Nor would it tap in to their internal motivations to eat new food, which is our long game!
This method is better than getting up and making them something else. It begins to feel like "all food" is shared with the family, everyone is included. There's no my food and their food for anyone. If you do find you're constantly getting up and getting something else, next time just have that preferred food ready to go and on the table.
Yep, that means the chicken nuggets get passed around the table with the roast beef, green beans and mashed potatoes.
I want your picky eater to feel like they have the opportunity to eat the same as everyone else in the family. I want them to feel like they are included and they belong at the dinner table and can take any of the other foods when they are ready.
If meal times continue to be frustrating, if you feel like a short order cook, if you find yourself being critical of your child's food choices, book yourself into a FREE 20 min consult spot and let's talk about how I can make your life easier!