My daughter is an extremely picky eater. She always has been. I was, when I was little, too. It’s not like she just won’t eat vegetables. No, this kid won’t eat chicken of any kind, cheeseburgers that don’t come from McDonald’s, any kind of vegetable, etc. She’s VERY picky!
I never really worried about it (I knew eventually she would eat more of a variety of foods) but everyone else did, so I talked to her doctor about it. She said that as long as she seemed healthy and was growing, she would be fine. She was always a little underweight according to their charts but she kept growing little by little.
I know people who force their children to eat whatever they put in front of them. I don’t ‘parent shame’ anyone so if that’s the way they want to deal with it, that’s their prerogative. Me? In most aspects of parenting I have been (and will continue to be) pretty relaxed.
When I make something new I will make her take one bite. Just one bite and she doesn’t have to eat anymore. After she takes that one bite, if she hates it (and most of the time she says she does), I will make her something that she likes to eat.
When she started school I sent a lunch with her. I just knew she would never eat a school lunch. About 3 months into school my daughter decided she wanted to try eating a lunch at school. I still sent her lunch with her (just 1 or 2 things) but she also got a lunch from school. She would eat whatever she liked on her lunch tray and then, if it wasn’t enough, she would eat something out of her lunchbox. After about 4 or 5 months of school she decided she didn’t want to take her lunch box anymore. Now she only eats the lunch at school.
Most days she comes home and I ask her what she ate at school and she says ‘pizza’ or ‘a peanut butter and jelly sandwich’. But some days she tells me that she tried a chicken finger or a plum and I get so excited!
It is a struggle sometimes, when I asked her to try a bite of scrambled eggs one day you would have thought I asked her to jump off a really high cliff! She literally had a complete breakdown. That’s when we take a break and let her calm down, otherwise she will throw up everywhere! After she calms we try again. She knows that she absolutely has to try that one bite. She has gotten a lot better, she normally just takes the bite now.
I definitely think that if I would have made her eat whatever I made for her from the minute she started eating solid foods she wouldn’t be so picky now, but I didn’t. And I don’t regret it. If you do make your kids eat a variety of foods, props to you, boo! I honestly think that’s amazing! I’m just not that strong.
At the end of the day we are all amazing parents and we are raising little monsters that hopefully won’t grow up to be serial killers. Good luck!!