I talk a lot with friends about what our kids are (or are not) eating. It usually starts off the same way. A friend will tell me she is so stressed because her child is a terrible eater. Like really, terrible, she says. I always inquire to what that means and the answer always surprises me.
I wait for her to list off that her child is only eating M&M’s, McDonald’s French fries and chugging Dr. Pepper, but instead I hear, well they will only eat broccoli and apples. Seriously, no other vegetables or fruit!
…did I miss something?
Broccoli and apples are pretty wonderful, healthy foods, right?
I think as loving parents it’s easy for us to get caught up in wanting our child to eat ALL the healthy things. I know I do. And sometimes I fear I am contributing to the scenario by posting Hailey’s meals like this:
Though no part of this meal is contrived, Hailey really does eat and enjoy this for dinner, but we have days (plenty of them) where meals aren’t so fancy. When this happens, I find myself falling into the same parental trap.
Take yesterday for example…
Yesterday was a hectic day and Hailey’s meals were as follows:
Breakfast: Blueberry Banana Walnut Hot Oats with Chia Seeds.
Snack (at school): Multigrain Cheerios
Lunch: Sliced Apple and a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
Snack: Lightly Salted Almonds
Dinner: Leftover Whole Foods Pizza, Applesauce and a small sliced Tomato.
By the time I was cutting her pizza into bites I was really picking on myself. She didn’t have ONE thing green all day long. In fact, she didn’t even eat a vegetable at all (tomato is a fruit, right?). And apples and applesauce on the same day? Way to vary her fruit, mom. I was really giving myself a hard time for being too busy and slacking on an area very important to me, her nutrition.
Then I realized how ridiculous I was being.
If anyone else would have listed off this day of meals to me, I would have noticed the following…
Oatmeal with no garbage fillers PLUS chia seeds? Wow.
Almonds for snack? Great healthy fats!
A quick dinner that wasn’t snagged from a fast food joint? Way to go, mom, I know that can be challenging!
But because I am tougher on myself (almost always unnecessarily so), I was feeling guilty. Ridiculous. It was so silly, in fact, that it made me want to chat with y’all about it. How often to we pick on what our kids don’t eat versus focusing on what they do eat?
Hailey may not eat raw leafy greens, but the child chows down on roasted butternut squash.
Hailey detests cucumbers it seems, but will happily crunch down on a carrot.
I’m all for staying consistent with offering new foods to expand their horizons, but to the moms that children just can not stand XYZ, stop being so hard on yourself. You are amazing. I know this because anyone that cares enough to think about the foods they are feeding their kids is certainly doing a stellar job, so keep it up!
Do you consider your kids to be picky eaters?
What foods do your kids hate?
What foods can you always count on them eating?