Skip to main content

Tuesday Tip for Picky Eaters: No separate menus

This week’s Tuesday Tip for Picky Eaters: No separate menus.
A lot of parents can get themselves into a bad habit of becoming a short-order cook when a child refuses to eat what is on the family menu. We worry that our child is not eating enough, so we make separate meals to try to encourage him to eat more. Parents may start offering substitutions of “kids’ foods” like pasta, cereal, crackers or even junk food. But in doing so, we may actually be encouraging picky eating.
Henry gets to eat from the same menu as the rest of our family.
First, it is okay for your child to not eat a meal if they are not hungry. Trying to fill them up with simple carbohydrates sets a poor trend and discourages the child from listening to his body’s signals of being hungry or full. Relax and let your child take the lead on how much to eat. Try not to focus on how much your child eats at one meal, instead consider whether your child eats a balanced diet over the course of the week.
Sometimes Henry is more interested in watching the pigeons than eating his lunch.
Second, it is okay to let your child feel hungry. I know some people may be uncomfortable with that statement, but I have our pediatrician’s support on this one. If your child does not eat for one or two days, try not to stress out about it. Just keep offering a variety of delicious and nutritious foods at each meal. After missing one, two or even three meals in a row, your child is likely to try the food in front of them at the next meal. And we all know that food tastes really good when we are truly hungry.

Third, children may not have an appetite when they are teething or ill. I know Henry’s appetite dropped when he was sick recently. Children do need to drink fluids regularly (breastmilk, formula, milk and/or water), but they do not have to eat solid food at every meal. Our pediatrician suggested that it is time to meet with your doctor to discuss potential medical issues if a toddler refuses to eat for three consecutive days, is lethargic, or loses weight.


Popular posts from this blog

Trying out travel placemats

Eating out with Henry can be a messy business, so I'm always on the lookout for ways to make it a little less so. Recently, we tried out two different types of placements designed for kids. Since Henry is still practicing how to eat from a bowl or plate, a placemat helps to make clean-up easier. Also, sometimes Henry wants to chew on the edge of the table, so a placemat helps protect the table from his sharp teeth.

The first product we tried was the TinyDiner Placemat. This item receives rave reviews from other baby-led weaning families so I thought we should give it a try. This placemat has suction cups along the sides to help it stay on the table and a catch tray along the front edge to collect dropped items. When baby is done eating, it rolls up and can be tucked in the pocket of diaper bag. It is reusable and dishwasher safe.
The first couple of times we used the TinyDiner, Henry was distracted by the catch-tray. As you can see in the photo below, he spent a good portion of our …

Ready for Kindergarten

It's back to school season and Henry starts kindergarten on Monday!
It should be an easy transition for him since Henry will be in the same classroom with the same teacher as his preschool year. For the past three weeks, he has been lamenting that school is better than summer break and he wants to see all his friends again. His goal for the year is to learn to read so he can devour Pokemon cards and comic books. I love that he is excited to be back at school. 

The format and frequency of this blog will be changing this year. Henry has asked that I not take daily photos of his lunches. He says that he would still like to share pictures of his favorite lunches on occasion. I also plan to write a few product reviews of lunchboxes and water bottles. 

Our family is in the process of moving to a new house this month as well, so my focus is on getting us settled into the new space. As a result, I won't be writing much on the blog in September but hope to post at least once per month sta…