Peter Piper Picked a Picky Eater…..

Picky eater. Just saying the two words makes me cringe, as it does many a parent. When I first started this blog, I envisioned post after post about all the wonderful foods I’d introduce to my son and he would happily eat it up. Well, that of course, wasn’t the case. Eating was and is just not something that he enjoys as much as I expected or hoped. There are some days he does really well and others not so much. He would much rather be playing than stopping to eat, whereas I plan my days around my meals! And certainly he has his favorite foods that he will generally eat without a problem, but that can change from day to day too. So what does this all mean, that my son is entirely and perfectly normal.

Children go through phases and it is important as parents not to impose our expectations but to be persistent (did you know that it can take 15-20 exposures to a food before a child likes it??), consistent, patient and calm around meal times. Much easier said than done, trust me, I know. I work very hard at reminding both myself and my husband those very things. The last thing you want to do though is to become a short order cook for your family.

But if you have a challenging eater (much prefer this to labeling my son or anyone as “picky”) on your hands, do not give up hope. There are many great resources for you out there.  Here is a list of my favorites that I share with my clients, friends and family:

Ellyn Satter
Ellyn is the queen of healthy family eating and how to feed infants and children. She has also written many excellent books on the subject. Her website has a number of useful documents on a variety of topics. I highly recommend reading “The Division of Responsibility in Feeding” as a starting point. Other topics include picky eating, getting a child to like a new food as well as many others.

Meal Makeover Moms
This is a blog and website with some of the best recipes and “how to” information on feeding children. They also have weekly podcasts. The Meal Makeover Moms have now published two cookbooks. I own them both and cook from them weekly. I cannot say enough great things about the cookbooks and the website!

Raise Healthy Eaters 
Great blog and informative site by another registered dietitian about feeding your family. It also includes recipes and meal planning advice.

I just discovered this blog and website which has great recipes and ideas for kids and families. I love the idea of peanut butter and jelly pancake sandwiches – that is a fun take on breakfast that is healthy and an alternative to syrup and butter. The recipe calls for incorporating the peanut butter into the pancake batter – you could make up a big batch on the weekend to use during the week or freeze for later.

Just the Right Byte
This is another great blog by a dietitian who specializes in pediatrics and provides great tips, advice and recipes.

Eating Well 
This is one of my favorite websites now for finding all kinds of recipes. They also have great nutrition articles written by dietitians.

Cooking Light 
I have always subscribed to the magazine and enjoy getting it every month for ideas and inspiration.

What are your favorite resources for nutrition and recipes? Or share your tips for overcoming “challenging eaters.”