Picky Eaters, Part 9!
Veggies in the Moment!
Well, friends, we’ve reached the 9th tip for getting our kids eating more veggies. The “I” in our acronym stands for “In the Moment.” You may remember us discussing this in a blog post during our original website launch a couple of years ago. Our thoughts for this story started when a friend of mine recounted an experience with one of her kids. My friend told me that she believed her daughter had overheard her (mommy) saying that she (the child) is shy. More recently, she had asked her daughter why she didn’t participate in an activity at school. Her daughter’s response was, “Mommy, I’m shy…” Mom immediately picked up on the fact that this is a label that might not be serving her daughter well, and made a plan to nip it in the bud!
This got me thinking about the “picky eater” label. I’ve had friends and family tell me in front of their child, “she won’t eat that…,” or “he’s a picky eater…” But that same child, with a new adult or in a new environment, will eat something that they haven’t or wouldn’t at home. Remember that a toddler’s reluctance to try new foods (“food neophobia”) is quite common, and that trial, multi-sensory exploration, and even refusal of food are all part of normal toddler development. Thus, most levels of “picky eater-ness” are normal!
So, even though we may think of our kids as “picky eaters,” in each moment that we’re presenting new foods (especially veggies) to them, let’s squash the urge to articulate that label out loud.
Experts suggest that many children need ten or more exposures to a new food before acceptance can be achieved. Ten!! Starting today, what if every time you bring a veggie to the table, you bring it without worry or prejudice, forgetting every prior time they threw it on the ground, spit it out, or one-arm swiped it off of their tray. Imagine how much less stressful it could be for you, and the message your toddler may glean from your attitude… “No picky eaters here! He will totally eat this!” This is what we call “veggies in the moment.”
Today is the day she will eat it! Veggies in the moment. You can do it -- EasyPeasie!