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Waffles, again?: The Picky Eater

Picky eater does not begin to describe my child. She has about 7-10 foods she eats with ease, and the main one is MILK! This past week alone, she's asked for"haffles", or waffles (daily)as her preferred meal with the occasional banana, fruit snack, and juice for excitement. But, I still have difficulty getting her to try different foods and to eat at all. A lot of my peers say "Don't worry, she'll eat when she's hungry" and her pediatrician as reinforced this sentiment, yet the mom in me just is not okay when she doesn't eat.

I think my issues with my toddler's picky eating stems from my own upbringing. In my home, there was always a surplus of food from snacks and baked goods to deli meat and breads. My parents cooked regularly and often at all hours of the night; I was so reluctant to eating varied foods. The biggest issue I had with foods initially was texture, I disliked anything mushy (i.e. mashed potato). My next issue was gaining weight and experiencing health issues. When my siblings and I went for our annual appointments, our doctor often found that they exhibited health complications due to their weight. Therefore, my refusal to eat or try different foods heightened.

Thinking about my current health and my child's picky eating, I can see how this could impact her later. Until my mid 20s, I still hadn't found the excitement of widening my palette. Thus, I struggled with bloating, constipation and battles with acne due to poor diet. Once I saw the benefits of incorporating more foods into my diet, I understood that liking particular foods just takes time. Since, I do not want my child to experience any of these problems, I try my best to get excited about foods she refuses.


The harm of Picky Eating

  1. Result in behavioral issues (i.e. tantrums)

  2. Develop poor mindsets about mealtime

  3. Increase frustration and stress for the parent/s

  4. Decrease in child's attention span

Unfortunately, I often find myself giving into the pickiness. Since it's just she and I at home, my patience runs out pretty quickly once the power struggles arise. In order to ensure that my daughter stays healthy, I have to give her liquid supplementals daily such as vitamin C. Luckily, research shows that pickiness can decrease by age five... just two more years to go, great :(

 

Eating habits for toddlers explained by experts.

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