Battles occur each and every day in family life. Some of the daily classics in my humble abode include tons of toys encroaching on living space, bedtime routines vs the space time continuum, and of course — brushing teeth viewed as blatant oppression by my kids. Yet, some of the worst conflicts have been over picky eating. Thankfully that’s in the past now. You see, I had an epiphany that picky eating might well be a blessing in disguise. Also, I’ve embraced the value of vitamins.
In my experience, if you emotionally invest yourself into every single child-related decision, you’ll be consumed by stress. I never wanted to be that parent. Instead, I took the sage advice of legendary martial artist Bruce Lee who said, “be like water.” Being malleable opens up one’s mind to new possibilities. With that begin said, below are the top 5 ways picking eating kids rocks:
5 Ways Picky Eating Kids Rock
1. Shellfish becomes “Nope” fish. Regardless of whether you love shellfish such as crab and lobster, the one constant is the exorbitant cost. Thankfully my kids view these sea creatures as creepy crawlers of the sea. Result? We still enjoy them but only when watching nature shows or seeing them firsthand at the aquarium.
2. Separation of Cheese and Plate. Preferences in food selection can be used to keep the peace. For example, my youngest child won’t eat a hamburger with cheese on it. “No way, no how!” My oldest, on the other hand requires cheese on his hamburger or “I’m not eating that!” Result? No squabbling over who gets what burger at the dinner table. Bonus? Kids learn to respect each other’s differences during and outside of mealtimes.
3. Fruit trumps Candy. This can fall under planning ahead. If you introduce fruit to kids early on in their dietary development they’ll tend to favor it as they grow older. If given the option between a plate of strawberries, grapes, and blueberries or assorted candy, my kids will always choose the fruit. Result? No dentist visits needed outside of the normal yearly checkups.
4. Being the “Super” in Supermarket. Grocery shopping should never be an ordeal. I’ve accompanied friends to the market and the experience has often been akin to embarking on an epic Greek odyssey. By the end of day, all that’s left are broken heroes and bitter rivalries. When I shop solo for my picky eating family, I get to keep things simple. I can be in and out of the supermarket in under 15 minutes. Result? I keep my sanity and stress levels in check.
5. Vacations can be Vacations. If you know what your kids like to eat and the scope of choices is somewhat limited, most restaurants will accommodate you. I’ve yet to encounter an Italian restaurant that wouldn’t serve “plain pasta, no butter or anything!” when my kids request it. It’s just good business. Result? Going out to eat with the kids while on vacation is pretty painless.
I’m confident my kids will inevitably broaden their food choices. In a way, it’s empowering for them to stand firm when making decisions about their own eating habits. We’ve gradually introduced new menu items as they’ve grown. In addition, taking vitamins helps balance their nutritional needs. In the meantime, I’m all for team Picky Eaters.
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I’ve partnered with and have been compensated by the good folks at SmartyPants Vitamins for this post. All opinions are my own. Be like water my friends.