You may be surprised to know, but I have 3 kids and two are very picky eaters. I know first hand, that no matter how good your intentions are and how heavy handed you try to be, sometimes you just can't make kids eat what they do not want to. So instead of giving up and only feeding them bacon, strawberries and McDonald's (some of my kids favorites) and to save Mommy's sanity, we are trying to implement the principles from the book: It's Not About the Broccoli. You can read more about this book here in a previous blog post.
So this month we sat down as a family and created our monthly menu from a list containing items that at least one child liked. We decided not to limit the menu to things all three would eat, because that would seriously restrict my non-picky eater's diet. We also finally identified our back up food (a food you offer after the prepared dinner has been tasted and rejected). A back up food gives the child a limited amount of control over what they want to eat. Many times this is the battle, not the food itself. In her book Dina suggests cottage cheese, beans, or hummus, but my picky eaters won't eat those willingly. Our backup food is regular (plain) Cheerios and milk. They will eat this but it is not a preferred food.
You'll notice we have a family dinner once a week. We get together with my husband family and watch Survivor during its season. My mother-in-law cooks a wonderful dinner! She's seriously the best! Someday I hope to be as good of a cook as her. On Sunday nights we have to be at church at 5:30 and the kids typically nap until around 4 so we have to do something quick - right now apples, peanut butter and popcorn are working well.
So there it is. My plan for October. I hope this new plan to encourage my children to eat healthily and with variety works. It may take a few months but hopefully it is the first step towards a more enjoyable dinner time and children who expect to eat more than just pancakes or hot dogs every night!
I hope this gives you some ideas. If you aren't already on my newsletter list. Sign up below for access to free healthy living resources!