Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Real Solutions for Picky Eaters - Part One


Recently I attended an informative evening at Children's Physicians Medical Group right here in San Diego. The highlighted topic is one that many parents are faced with at some point in their parenting journey, picky eaters. Having 3 children with varying degrees of picky eaters palate, I can relate to some of the concerns new parents have and wanted to participate in the sharing of knowledge. Being that this was a special invitation for local bloggers with children, I knew there would be plenty of great minds to tap into.

Dr. Jaime Friedman led the discussion and kept it very casual allowing for questions and sharing of our personal experiences.

Sometimes moms just want to know they are not alone, and it was clear from the chatter both before and during the talk that we could all relate to the very real struggle of having a picky eater in the house.

Image courtesy of Children's Physicians Medical Group

Below are some of the fabulous tips and quips from the night:

Lead by Example. This may entail trying a new food yourself. Or even taking a bite or two of a food you don't like. This one resonates with me because while I am quite the opposite of a picky eater, my husband is and he has "bit the bullet" so to say in order to lead by example and eats more veggies now just to lead by example.

Eat A Rainbow. One we work on quite a bit ever since I became a mom.... though it is still work to get enough greens.

Have your child shop with you and cook with you. I have yet to work on this one with consistency, but now that the kids are older I am going to commit to doing this more. Kids are more likely to try something new if they helped prepare it.

Create a "Fridge Snack Box". This can either be the drawer or a storage container on a lower shelf that is filled with healthy items that your little ones can grab at their discretion such as mandarin oranges, apple slices, organic baby carrots, grapes, string cheese. This is something I got right to work on when I got home!

"Do not make them eat. This should not be a control issue" Dr. Jaime Friedman. We know that toddlers and preschoolers are striving for greater independence and if their perception is that you are taking away their ability to choose when it comes to food, you will be fighting around the dinner table for years to come! I grew up in a house where we had to finish what was on our plate and looking back I think this has affected my relationship with food, I have a hard time leaving food on my plate and recognizing that I'm fulfilled. It doesn't have to be that "over full" feeling. On the flip side of the coin, my sister fought tooth and nail to not eat things she did not like... as an adult, she still does not like certain things. The truth is, we don't ALL like ALL foods!

And one quote I love because it fits in a variety of situations, not just in relation to food....

"Fairness does not mean everyone gets the same thing. It means everyone gets what they need." Dr. Jaime Friedman. My kids are probably going to grow tired of hearing this and repeat it back to me. When I hear something phrased just right that is a lesson my kids need, I like to repeat it. A lot.

There was a lot of information shared that night and Dr. Jaime Friedman shares some highlights from her main points in this short video:

Helping my family eat healthy is something I'm passionate about and I love what CPMG is doing by offering educational events to equip moms with tools to handle important issues and developmental milestones in this parenting roller coaster.

Thank you to Jennifer Humora of The Moms Guide to San Diego for the special invitation! I hope there will be another event like this in the near future, because as moms we feel a connection to those that are supporting us in this journey.

Look for Part Two of my Real Solutions for Picky Eaters!