raising picky eaters


raising picky eaters

(all dressed up & enjoying sparkling cider for last year's Thanksgiving Feast)


I think most of us want our kids to be good eaters.

Healthy eaters.

Mindful eaters.

The thought of being referred to as a picky eater conjures up thoughts of some poor mama making yet another pb&j on squishy white bread while dutifully cutting the crusts off. No one wants to do that.

And yet, I have realized lately that we are invariably raising our own kind of picky eaters in this house.

We came to this realization the other night when we didn't feel like cooking. It was hot, we were tired… excuses, excuses. We wished for a dinner fairy to drop us off a wholesome meal. We tried to figure out somewhere to eat in town, somewhere we would get take out, and then we realized…

We've become picky eaters…..

Somehow this was funny to Joe & I, who have made it a bit of a mission to raise good eaters. We've painstakingly had sautéed greens rejected countless times before a certain 3 year old finally gave in and all at once declared them delicious. {celebration!} We've conjured up great amounts of zen breathing, patience and determination to keep on trying…. even when preschool aged children in the house pretended to gag or faint. (please tell me some of you have been here too?)

And while I don't want to come across as self righteous (each of us has our own way, you know) I do feel like it's been a worthwhile journey to raise good eaters, picky eaters if you will. Dinner time is pretty smooth sailing these days with kids taking seconds on that pile of greens and being pretty adventurous when we try something new. And you sure can't beat the conversation had around the table.

To cook for & feed my family and lay a meal out on the table with wholesome (& local) ingredients brings an abundance of joy to my heart. To teach them the value of a balanced meal that was grown nearby that tastes delicious is most certainly something that will stick with them. Knowing what a body feels like fueled with super foods will surely make a popcorn-soda-beer diet less appealing in college, right? (I'm hoping.)

They know how things grow, where things come from, how to bake bread, make yogurt and homemade jam. Some of this came about due to frugality (I'm totally cheap) but mostly because we care about our health, farmers & planet.

And while I admittedly have moments where I feel like dinner is the last thing I want to do after a crazy, busy, sweltering hot day…. I still roll up my sleeves, and get it done…. with help from all the hungry people that live here.

After all, frittata is {almost} as easy as any frozen pizza. And it sure as heck tastes a lot better.

Cheers to all my fellow picky eaters out there!


10 thoughts on “raising picky eaters

  1. Ah, picky eaters. I used to feel so smug when my firstborn happily devoured soba noodles, tofu, and kale, or avocadoes, sushi, etc…then my second child was born. If I presented her with noodles with parmesan cheese every single meal of every day, she’d be thrilled. Not so smug now! Our firstborn still eats everything that is placed in front of him. Our secondborn is particular about EVERYTHING. We keep trying. You give me hope. She DOES love greens…


  2. Picky eating has taken on a whole new meaning for us as we face the challenges of being a gluten free family. Interestingly enough we have stumbled upon a whole new world of foods to experiment with. This has lead to some surprising finds and stubborn refusals all at once! I, too, at times find myself missing the ease of picking up some premade dinner but the rewards of a home cooked meal just cannot compare.


  3. I think I need you to do another post on this with very specific details, please!
    We’re right in the thick of picky eating, but I’m talking about the kind where the “just try one bite” bite gets spit out entirely. Oh, my.
    Is it simply a matter of offering the same foods over and over again? If my children could eat PB&J for every meal, I really think they would!


  4. Oh Stephanie, my third one was the pickiest ever. And now at 8, she'll eat most anything. I must admit it was in part to me learning how to cook vegetables well and choose fresh vs frozen or canned. I actually used to feed my kids canned green beans…. and wonder why they refused them. Now I have to tell them to stop eating the fresh beans every time they open the fridge…. or there will be none for dinner!


  5. Gluten free is certainly challenging! We're mostly dairy free here and have recently begun making our own coconut milk ice cream. Such a good summer time treat. Diet restrictions do add another challenge onto eating well, but as you said those home cooked meals are just the best. Of course I'm still hoping to find a fairy that delivers good food for free right to my door…….


  6. I've SO been there. We actually made a rule of just eating one bite. I always made sure the kids liked 1-2 items we were eating, and they had to try the others. Unless they were really weird or spicy, of course. My third kiddo was a painfully picky eater. It got the point that we actually put her dinner in the fridge so that when she complained later of starvation we would pull it out & say "here, this is what's for dinner" She would have been happy to exist on fruit and bunny crackers. She actually decided fairly quickly that cold dinner at 8 pm was even less appealing than warm dinner at 6 pm. She slowly began to taste things and eat better. But oh my did it ever take a HEAP of patience! Good Luck 🙂


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