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Did you know that only 22% of children ages 2 to 5 are getting the appropriate amount of fruits and veggies?
This post by Allison will help you to get a handle on the picky eaters in your house… Take it away, Allison…  

Before I became a parent I knew the key to avoiding picky eaters and getting kids to eat a large variety of food was to make your own baby food.
I hope you’re laughing already at how naïve I was in my pre-parenting days. 

I figured that homemade baby food tasted more like the real deal so my kids would just magically transfer from baby food to table food and since they had textures and spices from the beginning they wouldn’t be picky eaters.
It worked with 2 out of 3 kids.

A girl eating a hot dog with text above her.

My oldest child Isabella is my picky eater. She never liked meat, except sausage. When she was about 10 months old I was feeding her some chicken enchilada soup with tiny pieces of chicken in it.
Even at 10 months old the little stinker would spit out the chicken pieces while happily eating the rest of the soup. This same child started eating sushi at 9 months old. It’s weird we know. Isabella also stopped eating some vegetables, grains, and beans that she once loved over the last 3 years.


By the time Isabella was three, she was a nightmare at dinner. We fought with her to try food and she refused to eat almost everything I cooked. I dreaded dinnertime. My husband and I realized that something had to change.
We wanted pleasant family meals, but instead we had a battleground with neither side willing to give an inch.
We realized we had two choices; I could cook a separate meal for her or I could cater to her pickiness. For many reasons becoming a short order cook was not an option for this behavior. I was not about to cook two or more meals every night.Most nights I declare it a victory that I got one dinner on the table, I shudder thinking of making two. Plus I want this behavior to improve which will never happen if I make her a separate meal.We decided that dinner would be a choice in our house. The kids can choose to eat what I prepare or they can choose to go to bed hungry. The only part that isn’t a choice is that they have to try everything that I make. Even if it’s only one tiny bite, the kids have to try it.
I always have one thing on the table that Isabella likes so she has something to eat.  For example, I made red beans and rice the other night. I know that Isabella isn’t going to eat the bean mixture.  But she will eat the rice and pick the sausage out of the bean mixture so that was her dinner.
I know that this may seem a little extreme for some parents or far too laxed for others, depending on where you stand on the picky eating issue. However, it works for us and our dinners are peaceful again.
We’ve been doing this for three years and we are finally seeing a little light at the end of the tunnel. Last month I got Isabella to eat her first chicken nugget. Yep, my six year old refused to eat chicken nuggets. I once offered to buy her a new Barbie in exchange for eating a whole nugget, she refused. Last month she asked to try one when we were at Chick fil-A and she loved it! I never thought I would be so happy to have a kid eat a piece of fast food chicken.
The biggest change we’ve seen is that she is trying food for the first time with an open mind. Normally we have to ask her several times to try something she doesn’t like. For the first time in years she’s eating it willingly. Granted most of the food she tries is deemed gross but a few things are being eaten happily. When you have a picky eater every bite that goes down willingly is a win.
My previous eating habits give me hope for my daughter. I was a picky eater as a child but the older I got the more foods I liked. I eat more now than I did in my 20’s and I ate more in my 20’s than I did as a teenager. I’m hoping it will be the same for Isabella. Perhaps by the time she’s a mother she will have left her picky ways in the past.
How do you handle a picky eater?
See more of Allison’s great posts!   Here are a few favorites:
20 Date Night at Home Ideas
Slow Cooker Chili Colorado Recipe


     About Allison:
I am a stay at home mom to a 6 year old daughter Isabella and 4 year old twins Mark and Molly. Last year my husband and I relocated from Las Vegas to Cary, NC. We love our new city but we are still adjusting to the move and living far away from our families. I write about parenting, kid approved recipes and family life on my blog Twingle Mommy.

Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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