Zara, spirited child as she is, also demonstrates her will to me in food choices. But knowing that a picky eater is partly created by the parent, I mostly refuse to give in to her whims and fancy. But boy, wasn’t that a struggle, until I learn of the following:
- She has sensitive taste buds regarding taste and textures.
- She may not be hungry during mealtime/when I’m hungry.
- She likes consistency, especially when she already has a favourite.
How I’m solving this issue:
- Telling her that she must take a bite / try a little of the food before making the decision of not eating it at all. I can accept her rejection if the food makes her physically uncomfortable. Otherwise, she must still eat a small portion of it.
- I generally prepare food to eat together, but if she isn’t hungry, I’ll just heat it up for her later when she is. It’s good to follow her bodily cues so that she has a healthy sense of her own body.
- I try to introduce new variety of foods to her in small amounts, in addition to her favourite nutritious meals.
And lastly, if none of the above works (especially when in company of friends etc), and sensing that she’s just testing me out, I’ll usually mention that another negligible food favourite will not be offered if she doesn’t eat it. Something like ice-cream or a Happy Meal on Saturday.