Picky Eating Playbook
Ok, so you’ve seen part one of the Picky eating playbook on how to encourage new foods – now let’s dive into the DON’TS
As a reminder, don’t do the following with your selective eater.
1 – Dont bribe.
“If you eat this, I’ll give you this.” This method MAY seem like it works short term but it puts the more favorable item on a pedestal and reminds the child they are only doing this to get something else. Using an example of chicken, veggies, and rice on a plate. Your child screams for the cookie. “OKay eat this veggie and Ill give you a cookie.” This creates a division of undesirable and desirable foods and puts the cookie on the pedestal and the veggies as a task or hassle to get to that.
Rather, use tips from the safe food discussions and other scripts in this course to navigate. “I see you want the cookie. But right now we are having this for dinner. Whatever you dont want, you can put in this bowl.”
Alternatively, introduce the cookie WITH the meal. Decide when you will incorporate cookies. It’s okay to say. “Cookies are not on the menu tonight, but we can have a cookie tomorrow for snack time (Or whenever you are okay with them having a cookie)
2 – Dont become a short order cook.
A short order cook is described as a situation where a child doesn’t eat what’s presented and you go into the kitchen to get them something else. You may find yourself doing this out of mental exhaustion and frustration and look it happens– but if it’s your go-to for a picky eater, we need to reign it in. They have realized (because they are so smart) that their dissent will make you change your behavior. And? They will continue to do this behavior. That is why we like to offer safe foods to reduce this chance. Presenting things TOGETHER and letting them decide. Remember you’re a host at a restaurant bringing everything out at once! Short order cooking also is more stress for you and it is not beneficial in the long run for their understanding of meals and food exposure.
3 – Dont forget that praise.
I KNOW! You’re probably tired of me saying this, but it’s so vital! Don’t forget to celebrate the small wins your selective eater makes and look at the positive with gratitude. This can really help your mindset as picky eating is hard to emotionally manage.
Now let’s get to our last module..special situations in toddler feeding!