Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Creating picky eaters

Some parents unintentionally encourage their kids to be picky eaters. How do they do this? One mom told me her story. Years ago she realized her young daughter liked a certain brand and type of bread, cheese and milk among other things. She exclusively bought these brands. In a few months, those were the only types of bread, cheese and milk her daughter would eat. If they went to someone else’s house for dinner, mom would bring along her daughter’s special food items.

Her daughter grew into a young adult who often could find nothing at a restaurant that she wanted to order. Likewise, when she was invited over to dinner at someone’s house, she ate very little since most of it wasn’t anything she was accustomed to eating. Since food is such an essential part of many gatherings, her limited tastes made for many awkward situations. The daughter is now working to try more foods, however in retrospect, she wishes she had mastered this skill years ago.

3 comments:

Hazel's Mommie (aka liz) said...

it's so true! Hazel has been introduced to a wide of variety of foods since we eat different things, but even I have noticed that at the end of the month, when we're pulling together random meals to save pennies til payday, she will get irritated the opposite way and doesn't like to eat the same foods too close together - ie. leftovers are not her favorite!

Angie A. Swartz said...

Hey Kathy, I'm so glad to see you writing about this topic. I have an almost 4 year old princess and I've tried really hard to expose her to a variety of foods since day 1. Even when I was nursing, I ate all kinds of things, hoping she'd get different tastes in her milk. I'm super conscious of introducing crazy things into her diet and encouraging her not to make faces at tastes she doesn't like. When she doesn't like a taste, I wait a week and try again. Often, she'll like it on the second or third try. Parents that give in to a child's dislikes and like you say, cater to a child's brand sensitivity are doing their children an injustice in my opinion. Although they feel they are acting out of love, they are really developing lifelong limitations for their children. Thanks for writing about this.

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Kathy Slattengren said...

Liz, I'm glad to hear Hazel is trying a variety of foods. My son is a fairly picky eater ... and this mom's story totally motivated me to make sure I don't unintentionally contribute to this!

Angie, it certainly does take effort to introduce children to new foods and the good news is that it eventually pays off!