Don't Try Too Hard to 'Fix' a Picky Eater

picky eaterFor any parent in the middle of a "white food only" stage with your toddler, you're constantly looking for great tips and tricks to get something besides carbs into your kids. And there are tips aplenty. Just this morning, in fact, I heard a segment on the radio where a woman decided to make a conscious effort to eat exotic foods during her pregnancy, in hopes that her baby would turn into a toddler with an expanded palate.

Another fab tip that I've been trying to incorporate from a friend who has two kids with fantastic appetites is to put something in front of your early eater at least 15 times to get them desensitized to the foreign broccoli. It worked for her, and the same segment backed it up by saying you may only need to do it 8 times.

These two schools of thought on getting your kids to eat a variety of foods are, at the root, the same idea. And most likely have the same result. Which is maybe it will work, maybe it won't.

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The study showed that women who ate carrots during pregnancy and while breastfeeding had babies who ate more cereal made with carrot juice rather than water. Which is a good sign, if you're downing a lot of healthy, exotic-tasting foods while pregnant. But it's also a sign that children and mothers eat the same things. Children get used to what their mothers are eating, just like they do when they see it on their plate 15 times. It's about immersion, and that's a great way to make vegetables and healthy foods appetizing to your children.

But some kids just won't like kale. Some adults don't like kale, and tiny taste buds can be discerning as well. Of course you don't know what your picky eater is going to gravitate towards until you try. So is it worth immersing your fetus, then your breastfed baby, then your picky toddler in carrots and edamame? Absolutely. If nothing else, you'll have a great reason to eat healthy yourself.

If my toddler is any indication, all the broccoli I ate during my pregnancy slipped right by his taste buds. The cheeseburgers, however, seemed to stick.

Did you try either of these methods to avoid having a picky eater?


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