It's Your Fault Your Kid's a Picky Eater

picky eaters
Yes, that's a grilled cheese
Or at least it's probably my fault, but maybe you're doing a better job at getting your baby to eat broccoli and beets. Dr. Andrew Weil of the integrated health and wellness movement writes today in The Huffington Post about how adults who are picky may have their childhood to blame. That means moms, right? At least that's how I'm taking it, as I serve up my homemade mac and cheese yet again this week.

Weil asks us why in the world we insist on giving children different food than adults. And he's got a great point. Have you seen what kind of crazy "kid" food is being marketed on TV, in the grocery store, and in parenting magazines? It makes you wonder how kids ever graduate from blue yogurt to asparagus risotto.

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Dr. Weil also points to the anti-rice cereal movement as possibly being a step in the right direction to creating healthy eaters. While I don't think rice cereal is to blame for all picky eating (after all, a zillion more babies ate rice cereal than turned into picky adults), I get his point about introducing a diverse amount of flavors as your baby's first foods.

We actually did cook and mush up edamame as my daughter's first baby food, and she rejected it in two seconds. But now, as a pre-schooler, she totally loves eating edamame. So maybe reverting back to the rice cereal didn't cause permanent damage to my gal. Of course, with baby number two, we didn't even attempt the more intense flavors based on our negative experience with my daughter. Is this why he won't go near a vegetable?

Taking the long view, I've been known to be a picky eater. Not to the degree that Weil describes, where I always go for cheese pizza, pasta with butter, and grilled cheese sandwiches. I just have some texture issues and certain animal things I won't eat. I was raised a bit on bland food, and my mom readily admits to giving us rice cereal.

We are a product of our environment, to some extent. And since there's no harm in introducing exotic foods (except restricted foods by age), why not add a little color into your baby's diet? Even more fun, let your little one loose in the produce section and see what she picks out. You might be surprised. At least I was, when my toddler suddenly started eating sardines last week.

Do you feed your baby only white foods?


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