1. Such a great post. My 4 year old gets pickier every day and I am at a total loss…no clue what to do. I’m really only guilty of #5 though, but maybe that is making a big impact on him. We had friends over for lunch and not only did he refuse what I made, but he even went to the kitchen and got his own alternatives. A clear case of kid with too much control?

    • I know it is so challenging! Don’t worry though, it isn’t a lost cause! Make sure you check out my basic strategies (in the navigation bar at the top) to get started. He may have a little too much control, start off my making slow changes and be consistent. You will get there! Let me know how it is going!

  2. Two of my favorite pages I follow on facebook posted this and I love it! I’ll be sharing with all my mommy friends. I also want to check out your other pages you suggested!

  3. Another great post, thank you for the suggestions. We have a 14mth old and try to expose him to lots of different foods as we don’t want him to become a picky eater. These are great tips for us to keep in mind. Thank you, I recently started following your blog and love pretty much everything you post!

  4. I LOVE this. Such great advice. So many times children choose to not eat something because a parent or sibling says “I don’t like this!” and children’s preferences change all the time so to say “Oh she doesn’t like “insert food”” only reinforces her dislike instead of encouraging her to try it again! Great post!

    • Yes, that is totally right! You totally get it! We really do have a big influence over what our children eat. Thank you for the comment and stopping by!

      I am a fan of your blog!

  5. This is such a great post. I couldn’t agree more about the “clean your plate” one. I have always thought it was weird that we have this idea kids should eat everything they are given. We had it from a waitress the other day in a restaurant. She said to my not yet three year old son, “i’ll give you two balloons if you finish your food”. Er! What! actually i’d rather he stopped when he’s full.
    I’m going to pin this to the Sunday Parenting Party Pinterest board (which we use to pin any great parenting posts not just ones that link up).

  6. It is amazing how many people say that, but I guess that’s how most of us in our generation were raised. It is so hard to raise kids in our culture without associating food with a reward (balloons).

    Thanks so much for adding this to the board (and for the comment), I will be sure to follow it!

  7. What’s funny is when my now 12 year old was about 3 we were eating pizza at my brothers house. Not many people were eating the sausage and mushroom pizza so my brother turned to my daughter “here this is sausage and mushroom, you LIKE it!!” Before that day she was not a fan of mushrooms, but since then she will eat them! They will never be a favorite of hers, but she won’t turn her nose up at them either. All due to the power of suggestion 😉

  8. Great post! I definitely fall into the trap of #5. I get really frustrated when my son won’t eat, even when offered several choices, and so often try to have him tell me what he wants. I know I shouldn’t give him that much control, but it is hard to resist!

    • Thanks! I know, it is hard! It will be hard to break the habit at both, for both of you, but if you do his eating will improve in the long run. Good Luck!

  9. Good list, how do you avoid saying they don’t eat when you have to explain it to doctors in their presence? My son is high functioning autistic and only eats about 5 things, so I have to explain this to his psychologist, pediatrician, therapists, child development specialist, dentist, etc, etc, etc. He’s only 4, I can’t send him out in the hallway alone. I try to avoid saying it, but I have to let them know so I can ask for help. The problem is that they all say he will eat eventually, so don’t worry about it. Argh. I just found this site, so I am going now to read everything I can! 🙂 Thank you for this site!

    • Oh my gosh Deanna, the doctor is a total exception. I was really referring more to people saying “picky eater” all the time in front of their kids. I know how stressful this is. Hope you find some help here!

    • Thanks, I just feel like I am ALWAYS telling different doctors, and I KNOW he picks up on it because he repeats it later. Maybe I’ll just write a list of those foods he will eat and hand it to them. 🙂 Thank you again!

    • I have two autistic kids so deanna i hear ya. One thing i have started is i make one of my boys favorites and a new food. My kids a lot of the distaste is because of texture.

  10. Brilliant post. I would add to this constant commands to “eat your vegetables” they soon realise Vegas are something different and it becomes a battle. I never make a fuss about the veges and mine seem as happy eating them as anything else.

    Thanks for linking to the Sunday Showcase.

  11. The best thing I ever did with my kids was adopt a “take it or leave it policy” for meals. They don’t have to eat it but that is all there is. My two year old has her more “particular days” and sometimes will eat a bite or nothing, but she knows that is all there will be and doesn’t fight for more. I always try to put one thing I know they love, one thing I think they might at least try, and one new thing on their plate.

    • I love that policy! Every parent needs to find their own comfort level with this. In the long run you are laying the foundation for a solid eater or at least helping to avert a picky eater.

  12. This is really true and I have been trying to follow these rules from the beginning. But we cannot stop the guests saying these wrong phrases. How can we make them understand our concept?

    • I hear you! I really struggle with this, too! I guess it depends on your comfort level. With some family and friends, I say something to them after the meal and explain that eating habits are a real priority for us. I also will correct them politely, for example: “Oh, what Pappy meant was he hasn’t tried the peas in a long time. Not that he didn’t like them.” Let me know if you figure out any other solutions!

  13. I have a 7 year old girl, her height is average but she is in the lower 50 percentile of weight, she is very skinny. she does not eat meat or chesse in any form, sometimes she chews and spits out the chicken, at breakfast she gets full with a yolk, she also complaints of stomachache at dinner time, she gets moody and refuses to eat dinner and this has been happening for the past 2 – 3 months. I am concerned about her nutrients and water intake. Please tell where could I start .

    • I would get a GI appointment and ask about reflux, food allergies, and stomach emptying. Also, explore a protein shake, smoothie, or pediasure. Hope that helps a little- let me know if I can be of any more help!

  14. Great article – thank you for your dedication and the time you take to share tips and expertise. As a new mom I have tremendous respect for those who take the time to share all this valuable information – we have SO much more at our fingertips than our moms ever did. My LO has only JUST started solids but I guess its never too late or early to start instilling these ideas – the only one I would have a hard time with is the Clean Your Plate one ~ though I agree with it in principal, I am from India and was brought up there for the better part of my childhood and was only ever given portions that my mom knew I’d be able to handle eating and asked to always finish all of it as a mark of respect and to acknowledge that good food is never to be wasted. When I was stubborn and didn’t comply I was surrounded by examples of children with barely 2 grains of rice to rub together to know that I was fortunate to have what I did and should finish it all, if not in one sitting then in two or however many it took :)! I guess its a contextual and cultural thing but its a lesson that has stood me in very good stead over the years, long after I have left India and the sights of the poverty there. Now, raising my baby in the US, I reckon I would have a hard time shedding that aspect of my ‘food culture’ and beliefs but I guess time will tell :)! Thanks again!

  15. I found your website via Pinterest. I’m soo glad to have found it. My husband and I are struggling with our 4-year-old daughter and it’s exhausting and very discouraging. She’s never been a good eater. I will definitely bookmark your site for guidance in our journey with her. Thank you!!

    • I’m glad you found your way here Estelle! There is a lot of information here so take your time and let me know if you need anything. Wishing you progress with your daughter.

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