Calling all Parents of Picky-eaters!
As a former behavior analyst who has created and implemented behavior plans for hundreds of children, I know how to shape behavior. Do I practice these scientifically proven techniques with my own children? Depends. Generally speaking, all bets are off when dealing with my own children. Instinct, emotion and exhaustion often trump and I opt for the quick fix rather than long term solution.
A child’s pickiness is not a reflection of you and actually has very little to do with you. When my daughter was born, I was amazed that she ate everything. It made me realize how much unnecessary blame I was placing on myself for my son’s food and texture aversions. Adding shame to an already stressful situation makes everything worse, so try to avoid assigning labels to yourself or your child (I try not to let my son know I think he is “picky” in order to avoid a self fulfilled prophesy where he identifies as a picky eater and acts the part!).
If you are in the Parent of a Picky Eater Club, I am here to tell you that you are doing an amazing job. My son is picky to the point where he actually gags and nearly vomits even in the presence of foods that disgust him (and the list is long). He refuses to stay for lunch at school because his classmate brings “wet strawberries” for lunch. Since he’s only three years old, I pick him up and let him come home. “They won’t starve themselves! Just give him what you eat and he’ll come around!” This may be true that ultimately my child won’t starve himself, but it goes against every instinct in my body to let him go to bed hungry. So I end up doing all the things you’re not supposed to do: make 4 different meals until I find one my son will eat, reward with treats and display ridiculous excitement when he eats something healthy. Don’t do any of those things. Kids should be offered a variety of foods to try or not try and parents should not make any big reactions one way or the other. I know all this. Easier said than done.
So all this to say, I have found some tried and true healthy foods that help me sleep better at night knowing that at the very least my son had something healthy today and that is a win!
Daily Harvest’s Smoothies (we love the Mint Cacao!)
This is my ultimate picky eater go-to. This smoothie tastes exactly like a mint chocolate chip milk shake but is packed with antioxidants and superfoods. It has banana, spiranela, cacao, mint, etc.
Seaweed Snack (we like terryaki for added sweetness)
Many picky eaters actually are aversed to certain textures, particularly soft, slimy, goopy etc… My son goes through phases with seaweed snacks but generally loves the sweet and salty crunch of these nutrient dense snacks. These are packed with vitamins and minerals!!
For the same textural reasons as the seaweed sacks, many kids are more likely to eat a dried fruit than a dreaded “wet fruit” as my son calls them. You do have to be careful with he amount of these they consume as the sugar concentration is much higher, but ultimately it is still a great source or vitamins, minerals and fiber!
Orgain kids protein smoothie
Okay so this one does have some added sugars that I could do without, but, in terms of a well rounded supplement of protein, carbohydrate, fat, fiber, and added vitamins and minerals, its worth the extra sugar. And besides, sugar is not poison. This is organic and the milk is from grass fed cows without all the antibiotics and hormones of other milk.
Code AURORA25 for 25% OFF first order of ALL products sitewide
Little Spoon is a baby/toddler food subscription service has quite literally saved my life by allowing me to fall back on healthy full meals for my toddlers at all stages of their development. I keep them on hand in the freezer and can update my preferences at any time. I won’t lie, I regularly make these for myself as well.
here are there three main categories:
Babyblends are organic and fresh-made with 100+ ingredients. From single ingredient purees to advanced blends, we’ve made starting solids easy.
Finger Foods + Kids MealsPlates are healthy meals for toddlers + big kids. Fun, craveable finger foods and meals that are picky eater approved. Made fresh and ready in seconds.
Smoothies: Smoothies are cold-pressed, organic and nutrition-packed flavors loved by all ages. On-the-go snack time made easy.
Check out some of my “Sneaky Veggies recipes in my recipe section!)