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Picky Eaters {Day 41}

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How to Avoid Raising Picky Eaters_800

From Chaos to Calm: Day Forty-One

Picky Eaters

Scripture Memory: “Take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and spelt; put them in a storage jar and use them to make bread for yourself.” Ezekiel 4:9

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Oh, the joys of motherhood. Cooking supper in your pretty apron with your hair fixed and a sweet helper washing the dishes as you go…

Oh, wait – this is real life! I don’t know about you, but supper time can be stressful. I enjoy cooking for my family. I really work hard to prepare healthy meals that look and taste good. Unfortunately, there is always at least one child who is less than thrilled with the menu. Whether it is Emily’s dislike of broccoli, James’ dislike of eggs and mayonnaise, or Sarah’s dread for coleslaw, it seems out of five kids the only nights everyone is thrilled is when I make spaghetti or tacos.

Children who are allowed to eat only the foods they really love grow up to be adults who don’t like vegetables. Over the years my children have grown to love greens, salads, spinach, and asparagus. Emily is even beginning to like broccoli! Our taste buds change over time. Not only that, but you can retrain your own taste buds by eating foods you don’t care for on a regular basis.

Some foods that my own mother did not serve – which I grew up disliking – were beets, mushrooms, olives, asparagus, sauerkraut, spinach and more. I am happy to report that thanks to my husbands encouragement, I LOVE all of these foods now and cook them frequently.

Children should not be allowed to waste food. I can’t count the times I have attended a potluck dinner and watched as children piled their plates high with good food only to throw most of it in the trash minutes later. God is not honored by our waste. Children need to learn that food is a blessing from God. Part of being a good steward is eating the food we are provided and avoiding waste as much as possible. My children know when we go to a potluck or eat at someone else’s home that they are to politely eat what they are served.

Teach your children about nutrition. Let them help you choose healthy foods at the grocery store. Tell them why you do not eat certain foods or why some foods should only be eaten in moderation. Teach them how to properly care for their bodies. More importantly show them by your own example.

By exposing your children to a wide variety of healthy foods, you’ll teach them to love the foods that are good for them.

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How do you encourage your child to eat his or her veggies?

How to Avoid Raising Picky Eaters @ AVirtuousWoman.org

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  1. Hey Melissa! My kids eat a lot of different veggies and I've learned a few tricks over the years so I'll share a few Start with small portions! If you are introducing a new veggie or a veggie you know your child isn't crazy about, give them just a bit (and praise when they finish!) Serve a not-so-favorite veggie with a favorite main course (and praise when finished). Mix veggies together-again pair an under appreciated veggie w/ ones they like (praise, tee hee hee) Remember, you can serve veggies raw. My oldest daughter doesn't like cooked carrots, but she'll eat them all day raw - and she doesn't use dressing or peanut butter. Be flexible and pick your battles - my girls love broccoli and collard greens but aren't thrilled w/ spinach. So spinach doesn't appear much at my table, why push it. Have a great weekend.
  2. Since you are so often a cheerleader to the struggling wives and moms, and advocate giving ourselves grace, I want to make you aware of a newly recognized eating disorder, ARFID (Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder). It is essentially extreme picky eating, however it is caused by trauma (that may have even gone unnoticed or unrecognized at the time) And is neither a product of a child's willfulness nor parents' failure to discipline properly. Your suggestions are fine for "normal" kids, but there are so many parents out here struggling with both the challenges of feeding an ARFID kid AND condemnation from other parents who have never experienced a child who would LITERALLY rather starve than eat an "unsafe" food (and there are so, so few "safe" ones!) It is EXTREMELY discouraging to hear how simple it is to raise an adventurous eater when you know that you set out to do just that but are fighting a disorder and not just a behavioral issue. It's like being told how easy it is to write when you are missing an arm. I don't mean to complain; just inform. Thanks.

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