My son, since 6 months old, was a SUPER PICKY eater. SUPER SUPER picky.
Unlike his older sister who ate anything and was more adventurous with food.
With my son, we, NEVER battled about it or food or eating. Nor forced it or punished him for it or scolded him or bribed him or offered 'rewards' or treats.
He never starved.
He was always, super healthy, solid as a rock, in the upper 97th+ percentiles for growth, and was fine.
Our Pediatrician had no issues or problems with is picky-ness either.
My son is now 5 years old. He eats all sorts of things and his palate.... on his own.... has expanded. His picky eating, did NOT get worse.
My son, eats according to his body's "cues"... for hunger or fulness. He eats when hungry and stops when full.
He is also a "grazer." Eating small amounts throughout the day. JUST like my Husband.
Some people, are grazers.
But to others "grazing" is snacking.
It is NOT.
Some people just eat small amounts throughout the day. This is actually a healthier way to eat. In fact.
My son, since a baby, will sit at the table with us to eat. He never threw food or had a tantrum about it or eating. BUT he was very picky.
He never threw fits or tantrums about it, because we never made, "eating" a bad thing.
My kids, eat snacks. Kids NEED to do that. They get more than just 3 meals a day. Snacks DO NOT spoil my kids' appetites for meal time.
They do have snacks before meals. But not AT meal time. It is BEFORE meals, after school, mid-morning, etc. or before bed. Like an apple.
We never, withhold food from our kids. We go according to our kids cues... and they KNOW their body.
They do not... eat out of boredom or because of emotional reasons.
They eat, because their body, is hungry.
That is how it should be. That is the healthiest way to eat. Not because a child is doing it for emotional reasons or to please others or to get a treat.
Even our Pediatrician said, that kids need to eat by knowing their body. Not emotional reasons.
Our kids are very lean and strong and healthy. Because, they know their body and eat or stop, according to their body's cues. And like all Moms, I don't cook nor serve junk food.
Last night, my son ate a whole big plate of Broccoli for dinner! He use to hate it, now he likes it. That is how kids... and adults are. Food attempts and likes or dislikes... changes. I personally HATE eating cereal every darn morning for breakfast myself. For example. But I don't punish myself over it.
We never had power-struggles about eating, with my son.
He now eats so many different things. And he is proud when he does.
And he continues to just grow and is lean and strong and very healthy.
He, never starved. Nor was he malnourished, just because he was a picky eater.
We just chose, not to make "food" or "eating" an issue.
Because, later, it affects a child and then as an adult, how they eat and view food and if their eating is dysfunctional. ie: eating to placate themselves. ie: emotional eating.
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A story: when I was in elementary school, there was a Teacher there that forced the kids to eat EVERYTHING on their plate, in the cafeteria. She even, slammed a ruler down on the table and checked each kids plate and scolded them if they did not eat everything, and if not they could not leave the cafeteria. So, she made many kids cry. Including myself. I told my Dad. My Dad, then invited her to dinner, at our house. She came. It was good food. But, she did not eat everything. So my Dad said to her "You did not eat everything on your plate. You cannot leave our house until you do." She was aghast! But my Dad told her "That is what you do to the kids at school." And that, she better eat by her own rules, too.
Of course, many parents complained to the school about her meanness. And certainly my Dad. And she was disciplined, sharply.
If a kid only eats a couple of bites, so what.
A child/baby will not eat like you.
A baby/child, will not eat this way all their life.
I don't know of any Adult, that eats the same way, they did as when they were a baby or Toddler.