A mom recently wrote a question about her picky eaters on the Positive Parenting Facebook page.
“My 8 year old refuses to eat vegetables and is disruptive and pouty if dinner isn’t what he wants. Going out to dinner or to a friend’s house for dinner is very stressful for me. My 21 month old is beginning to copy him. I’ve tried so many things. Suggestions?”
So here are my top 3 suggestions to make mealtime easier:
1) Involve him in meal planning. Sit down and have him help you make a menu. Make it fun, ask him what little bro may like/needs to eat. Have him help with the shopping. Have him help cook/prep, set table…etc. Have him help find a job for baby.
2) Grow veggies with them…my kids would always eat stuff we grew in the garden, like peas, lettuce, tomatoes…would never eat it bought, only if they picked it. Also if there is anything he may eat, keep it washed, cut up, in an easy place for him to reach in fridge.
3) Set a limit and follow through – If he starts acting up at table, it’s OK to remove his plate and comment, “Looks like you are finished, this will be in the fridge if you get hungry later” and don’t engage in the power struggle. I don’t know if you remember the “say it once and follow through” tactic from class where I say it one time, then approach the child with a smile and loving touch and just stroke their arm or rub their back while they complain, until they stop. If I don’t say anything else, they have nothing to fight against and will eventually stop.
Also, so you can listen to my MP3 recording, “Ways to handle power struggles at mealtime”.
Please post your comments with more ideas below.