Happy Eating

So Mother’s Day has ended, and it’s back to the realities of motherhood that can sometimes drive us a little batty. Ask any mom about her biggest daily parenting challenge, and the answer is very likely food related.

A couple of weeks ago I was a guest at a picky eaters workshop that was led by San Diego pediatrician and mom of a picky eater, Dr. Jaime Friedman. You may be thinking (as I did), if a pediatrician struggles with picky kids, what chance do the rest of us have to “fix” our own children?

pickyeater

What I realized during the workshop is that kids don’t necessarily need to be fixed! Most are actually getting the appropriate calories and nutrition during the week, even if each and every meal is not the rainbow of foods we aspire to deliver.

It’s kind of refreshing that doctors experience the same parenting concerns that we do. Dr. Friedman says kids are just that way… changing their interest in foods, going through growth spurts and slow downs, “grazing” enough during the day that they are not hungry for the dinner put in front of them.

Did you know that most two-year-olds experience decreased appetites? Did you know that breastfed babies get the benefit of more exotic flavors, meaning they may be more likely to appreciate a variety of solid foods? Here’s a bit more from Dr. Friedman:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQ6hMQBhODM

I remember when my own kids were toddling around, seemingly never hungry, always on the go, a “trick” that worked for me was to simply create a mini smorgasbord and just leave it out so that they could graze when ready. They did not want to sit and eat an actual meal, but everything that I put out for the smorgasbord was usually eaten. It was nice to hear that my strategy was physician-approved. 🙂

Jimbo’s sponsored our picky eater event and is offering a free “cook with your kids” class at each of their 5 San Diego locations next Wednesday, May 20th. Shopping and cooking with children is another great way to encourage them to try new foods.

Check out all of Dr. Friedman’s picky eater tips on the Children’s Physicians Medical Group blog, and share YOUR questions, struggles and suggestions for a chance to win a $50 Jimbo’s gift card. One reader who comments below will be randomly selected to win later this week.

 

Good luck and happy week after Mother’s Day!

 

15 thoughts on “Happy Eating

  1. Moms Guide says:

    Thank you everyone for your ideas. I think moms know best for sure 🙂

    Congrats to Abigail! You are the winner of our Jimbo’s Gift Card giveaway! Check your email for instructions on how to claim your gift.

  2. melissa jungk says:

    I’ve had a rough year trying to get my child to eat. I’ve gone numerous times to the doctor and asked for advice through many resources. Ive tried making shakes for him, offered him food in ice trays and numerous things and nothing seemed to work.I don’t want to jinx myself or the situation but I’m happy to say but my son is finally eating a lot more food than he used to. I had another talk with his doctor telling him that I have had enough and that I was very tired of him not eating. I cried and asked to see a specialist. he refused and told me that my job is to place the food on the table for him and his job is to eat it. if he doesn’t eat then he’s not hungry and he will eat when he is. he also told me to stop giving him juice entirely and stick to water and milk. its the same thing For those of you who remember me and my situation I’ve had a rough 2 years trying to get my child to eat. I’m going numerous times to the doctor and asked for advice through here and other resources. I don’t want to jinx myself or the situation but I’m happy to say but my son is finally eating a lot more food than he used to. I had another talk with his doctor telling him that I have had enough and that I was very tired of him not eating. I cried to see a specialist. he refused and told me that my job is to place the food on the table for him and his job is to eat it. if he doesn’t eat then he’s not hungry and he will eat when he is. he also told me to stop giving him juice entirely and stick to water and milk. its the same thing he’s told me for the last several months but for some reason it’s taken me this long to realize then he will not starve. over the last several days I have seen major improvement. he has eaten things I have never seen him eat such as spaghetti rice strawberries and quesadilla… In fact today he ate his quesadilla came over to my plate and took mine as well. I am incredibly proud of him and hope but this isn’t just a phase and that he is finally going to eat. over the last several days I have seen major improvement. he has eaten things I have never seen him eat such as spaghetti rice strawberries and quesadilla… In fact he ate his quesadilla came over to my plate and took mine as well. I just thought that I would share because I am incredibly proud of him and hope but this isn’t just a phase and that he is finally going to eat.

  3. Abigail says:

    My child comes with me to the store or farmer’s market and helps plan meals for the week. I’ll give him simple choices (which do you think looks better — these green beans or those peas?), and if possible, he’ll also participate in preparation. I’ll give him simple choices there, too: do you think this could use more spice? Hmm, should we add some cheese here?

    It’s not perfect, but it works often enough for us.

  4. maryLou says:

    One very picky eater. Love these suggestions!! Mine try to take “a polite bite” to try new things

  5. I take my children- 8 and 18 months to the local Farmers Market with me. I let them bring a bag or basket to hold and they have fun picking a fresh fruit or veggie to put in it. They love seeing the fresh fruits and veggies and all the bright colors. They have lots of fun trying samples too!!]
    It is also fun to plant a small tomato plant, strawberries, or squash for each child to take care of. I let them be responsible for watering their plant every day. They get so excited to run to their plant every day and see the veggies sprout and grow!! Once the tomatoes or strawberries are ripe, they are excited to try them! I even find a fun recipe to make with our home grown fruits and veggies, like tomato sauce for pasta or strawberry pancakes for breakfast!! Hope that helps!!!

  6. Lisa Lieb says:

    Use ice trays and fill up two sections with items your child doesn’t want to try and a third item they love….like broccoli. Then carrots then strawberries…then repeat. Add a fun dip, like barbecue ranch dressing. My son has to eat the non preferred food to get to his preferred. I sit with him to encourage him m just to try each.

  7. Lisa Lieb says:

    Use ice trays and fill up two sections with items your child doesn’t want to try and a third item they love….like broccoli. Then carrots then strawberries…then repeat. Add a fun dip, like barbecue ranch dressing. My son has to eat the non preferred food to get to his preferred. I st with him to encourage. Him just to try each.

  8. Allison M. says:

    I try to give my 4 year old choices with fruits and vegetables–it gives her the power 4 year old’s developmentally crave and I’m fine with either choice!

  9. Amy Ausderan says:

    I hide veggies in smoothies! My son loves them!!!

  10. Ruth McCallister says:

    we have had to go the OT route, the therapy has helped quite a bit but being my daughter will be 8 in September it has been a long road

  11. Dena Stark says:

    I put healthy ingredients out for my picky eater. If I allow her to help w prep and involve her in the cooking process, she is more likely to eat the foods I’ve selected for her.

  12. Alma says:

    My 4 year old is super picky eater but for some reason will take bites out of the broccoli and lettuce while we are still in the produce section of the store but only in the store once it gets home “No thank you that is yucky!”

  13. Abby says:

    Sometimes, reverse psychology works in our house. “Sorry, we only have a few green beans…Mommy ate then all…are you suuuuure you want them???”

  14. Kimberly says:

    i bought a plate game! It’s called Dinner Winner. It looks like a game board with compartments. When they get to the last bite you have a “surprise” waiting for them in the covered compartment. My 4 (almost5) yr old gets super excited when I have it on his placemat. Got it on Amazon!

  15. Cyndi Wirth says:

    My almost 2 year old is still so picky with vegetables (unless they are pureed or mixed into soup- he loves minestrone! ). Besides surrendering to the pouches of baby food, I try to “sneak” veggies in where I can. I make a homemade mac and cheese and use mainly butternut squash, carrots and cauliflower for the sauce. He gobbles it up!

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