Help! My kid won’t eat (vegetables / meat / fruit / anything green!)
You’re not alone! Besides the normal drama that comes along with feeding toddlers and young kids (the mess, tears, begging, cold food), throw picky preferences in to the mix, and parents, we’ve got our work cut out for us! The good news, it seems to happen to all of us. Kids are picky with their food. It’s a normal phase. Most kids experience picky eating in some way. They are picky about the temperature of their food, the color of their food, whether the food is touching other food, and on and on and on.
What’s more, parents that have kids with food allergies have a whole set of other concerns to deal with at mealtime. Is this food safe for my child? Is their eating area clean and free of cross-contact? Are the restrictions in my kid’s diet going to affect their nutrition or their growth? Combine these concerns with picky eating behaviors, and parents, you are the real heroes of meal time with every belly that gets filled!
Picky eating is not just common in kids with food allergies, it may be more prominent and more extreme. Kids with food allergies may be more likely to have anxiety and fears around trying new foods, and they are more likely to be extremely picky in their food choices. It makes sense, since most of them have some experiences and memories of food making them sick. As they get older, this could lead to nutrient deficiencies because their diet is so limited and restricted. As much as we can prevent picky eating and help to end it before it restricts a kid’s diet too much, the more nutrition they’ll get as they grow and mature, and the less stress everyone will have around mealtime.
As parents, we want to help our kids enjoy new foods while being safe and having fun. We want kids with food allergies to feel like every other kid, and be able to play with their food, have fun trying new foods, and learn to shop and cook for themselves. By using these evidence-based tips, you can help your child channel their inner foodie and have fun trying new foods!