Parents of picky eaters, I get it. After watching you struggle with your "yellow foods only" eaters, even when your first kid will eat anything, I get it. You are doing your best, and your kid just CANNOT ABIDE certain foods.
My kid has always been somewhere in the middle: Not super picky, but he won't eat just anything. Most of the time I can get him to take one bite of everything, and I refuse to make separate dishes for him, but I've still faced the gagging NO monster.
Which is why posts like drive me bonkers: 15 Foods Kids Hate to Eat and How to Make Them Change Their Minds. Oh really? Let's see what you've got.
First of all, some of these foods aren't really that hated. I mean, really, chicken?!? I've never met a kid who hates chicken. Most kids love peaches. Kids don't like beans? Since when? (Hiding them in a burrito isn't going to work, anyway.) And under-sweetened yogurt? Whatever. That's small potatoes.
But the suggestions for changing kids' minds just made me, as a hard-core food-obsessed mean mommy, just laugh. I mean, all the stir-frying, maple syruping, roasting, braising, whatever in the world isn't going to make kids accept Brussels sprouts before they're ready to. That's one bitter veg that takes time and maturity to appreciate.
And if your kids don't like avocados, they're sure as hell not going to like guacamole, i.e. yucky avocado mashed with 100 objectionable foods which should never touch each other on the same plate, according to most toddlers. Hiding thin slices in a sandwich? Hah, nice try. And I've never seen the "melt a lot of cheese on it" or the "add a tasty dip" methods work for my kid.
A while back I wrote about Karen Le Billon's book, French Kids Eat Everything. For Karen, changing her picky eaters wasn't about disguising "icky" foods or trickery. It was changing her whole family's approach to eating. It was a complete attitude adjustment. And it only worked because everyone in her town supported it. That's why I think advice like this, while well-intentioned, cute, and creative, ultimately just makes parents angry. Maybe one or two of these tricks will work. But if you really want to change your kids' eating habits, you really have to go deep -- and then manage your expectations.
Would any of these tricks change your kids' minds about their least favorite foods?
Image via uberculture/Flickr