My Kids' Picky Eating Isn't a Battle I'm Willing to Fight

boy picky eater

Recently, I was looking out my kitchen window when I noticed my neighbors having a family dinner out on their brand-new deck. Like a creeper, I peeked through my blinds and watched as my neighbor scooped big salads out for each of her three boys. Then I had to stop watching because my 4-year-old was demanding more cheese and crackers for dinner and my 9-year-old wanted another hot dog. 

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Can I get a high five for the fact that my kids at least had strawberries too? 

Yep, neither of them of them is a fan of most vegetables. Or soup. Or chicken that isn't in the "nugget" form. Or even, inexplicably, of macaroni and cheese. Given that my husband has a host of food allergies and that I enjoy vegetables and things that have some measure of spice on them, we often end up eating four different meals for dinner. 

I know that as a concerned, loving mom, I'm supposed to be worrying about this and plotting daily to sneak vegetables into their diet through smoothies, but I just can't make myself worry any more about their eating habits. 

More from CafeMom: 6 Mistakes Moms Make With Picky Eaters

I've decided that I'm not making ending picky eating into a battle. I'll make sure my kids have access to healthy stuff and that I keep plenty of the fruit that they love on hand, but I'm opting out of worrying about the fact that they're basically on a weekly rotation of pizza, fish sticks, peanut butter and banana sandwiches, and of course hot dogs. 

Part of deciding not to fight the food battle is my desire to not have food become a source of control. After a lifetime of dealing with my own food issues, I've reached the conclusion that making mealtime into a power struggle isn't healthy for me or the kids.

More from CafeMom: Why I Serve My Kid Food I Know He Won't Eat

Another factor in my laissez-faire approach to dinner is that I have total confidence that my kids will eat a more diverse menu eventually. My 8-year-old is slowly starting to eat a little bit more adventurously, so I'm willing to chalk "picky eating" up as another one of the many annoying phases kids go through. I suspect my 4-year-old will eventually try corn and that both of them will someday give in to the cheesy goodness of a pot of macaroni and cheese. And when they do, it will be their choice, free of pressure or food issues. 

Ultimately, I think all moms have to choose what battles they want to fight. For me, I'm determined that I'll raise kids with good manners, who brush their teeth every morning, and who put their toys away every night. I'm willing work every day on these behaviors. But food? Nope. Not the fight I'm willing to take on. So my kids don't eat salad. I can deal with that. 

 

Image via iStock.com/Fertnig

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