Picky Eaters?

Picky Eaters?

Living With Picky Eaters?

If you feel like you’re the only one living with a picky eater, know you are not alone. Even though food aversions and restrictions have become increasingly more common, the majority of parents are at a loss of what to do about it.

This article will address some of the reasons as to why it is crucial to stop your picky eaters sooner rather than later, as well as the various obstacles that need to be addressed before changes are possible.

I have personally witnessed the frustration over meal times and the struggle to get my kids to try something new. It may seem as though a trial and error approach works best by randomly trying different foods, but unfortunately it is unlikely going to be that simple. There are reasons why our kids are picky in the first place. Each new school year I run workshops to help parents find ways to make lunches and meal times less challenging and more nutritionally enriched. (See more info below).

Incorporating healthier foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables and proteins into our kids’ meals may not be more challenging than sticking to cereals and cookies. When kids reject these new foods and choose not eating at all over what is on the table, we usually go back to the tried tested and true. Isn’t it better to eat something rather than nothing – even if it’s not the most nutritious choice? Intuitively it seems so to a parent faced with ongoing failure, but the real failure becomes evident if we don’t take charge of food over an extended period of time.

Making changes in life are challenging – even as adults. For kids, they make decisions based on the choices WE give them.  As a nutritionist, I encourage listening to our kids communicate their likes and dislikes when choosing meals and snacks, as well as participating in meal preparation, as this makes kids feel like they are to some extent in control. Eating and cooking can be fun and creative. Kids must have the opportunity to choose something healthy. Parents’ responsibility is to provide ONLY the choices we feel are nutritious and beneficial.

Many foods are filled with chemicals, preservatives and void of nutrients. In fact, some may do more harm than good. And the more we fill our bodies with addictive sugars, salt and bad fats, the less likely we are to be open to a palate that welcomes healthier versions. Resorting to popular school snacks such as sugar filled granola bars and cookies may lead to constant hunger and crankiness (hangry many of us call it). No doubt the abundance of holidays and birthday parties will give kids ample opportunity to enjoy the sweeter treats (that is exactly what they should be – treats!).

The point I cannot stress enough is this: we have a responsibility as parents to do the research to find out how we can provide healthier foods at homes. Cleaner more nutrient dense versions of our everyday grabs can often be better. Morning, after school and before bed snacks often are no better than going for an ice cream or eating cotton candy. Do we really know how much sugar is enough or too much in general? There are great options out there that are packed with fiber, protein and no crap!

Many of us are already eating less processed foods and have reduced the sugars in our kids’ diets, but we may still be struggling to get more protein into their bodies, or adding enough fat to satiate them so they are fuller for longer. Otherwise we have scavengers on our hands constantly wanting more – even of the good stuff.  We need to treat food and food combining as a science to really help our kids with their everyday behaviors and needs. And then there are the challenges of diabetes, weight gain or loss, hyperactivity and seizures.

Last September I ran a healthy kids lunch workshop that provided parents with a starting ground: take the foods we KNOW they like and switch them for better ones. Does your child want to eat a cream cheese sandwich every day? Ok well why not find a bread that is sprouted and so packed with protein and good fats that it is even better for them than a turkey sandwich?

We may need some help from parenting coaches who are experts in this area on how to deal with extreme resistance to change. But it is a necessity not a luxury! We can’t look at our kids eating and chalk it up to “well I tried” because we are then allowing them to dictate what we give them and their future health and wellness. Most often it is not a smooth transition to changing favorite foods.  The hard part is getting our kids to be receptive to trying and perhaps realizing they like it. That’s what our job is. We give them what is best and find ways to make it work. Luckily we are not limited to brands and food options nowadays. Plethora of options!

Several years ago I met a woman who changed my life and helped me with various behavioral troubles I was having with my kids: sleep training, tantrums and then picky eating. We have connected over the years and helped each other so much with our own families that we decided to join forces and do a workshop to help all those parents who are battling picky eaters at home. It is not just a “what to eat” or simply “how to get them to eat”. We need both. We need guidance on how to navigate through the complex world of “what’s healthy anymore?” as well as how to actually get your kids to eat something other than the 10 foods they live off.

Come join us in a dual workshop next month targeting what foods and brands are the most nutritious and delicious for the whole family. Learn how to get those VERY picky eaters out of their comfort zone and eating more balanced at school and home.

Learn the truth around why your child resists foods and walk away with simple and easy to implement strategies. Let’s overcome some of the common mistakes we all make and start the school year off the right foot!

For more information on these workshops and to register for one in your area please go to www.melissajacks.com/pickyeaters.

You don’t have to live with this overwhelming feeling of failure. There are solutions that will help you and your kids take charge of their eating habits.

We hope to see you all there over the next couple of months


Click here or below for more information.


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