People always ask me “How do you get your kids to eat all the food that you make?” My girls are 7, 6, 5 and 5, so my answer is: “I don’t.” But, then again, that’s not my goal. To be sure, I want my kids to eat their veggies, but more than that, I want to raise budding young women who have a healthy relationship with their food. If I manage to get them to choke down a few bites of broccoli for the next few years, but then they spend their entire teen and adult lives eating junk, finally “free” from my rules, then I will not have considered myself successful. That’s just what rings true for me in my gut, and I realize not everyone shares my parenting style. My goal is simple: Impart a healthy knowledge and love for the taste, adventure and nutrition that food brings to our lives. Whenever I find myself tempted to wield my parenting muscle and try to “force” my kids to eat (ha ha ha!), I step back and remind myself that I want to pass along messages that support both the 6-year-old in front of me, and the 18-year-old she will become soon enough.
With that background, I will share my top six tips and tools for dealing with picky kids (yes, my kids have ALL had their picky phases!):