Monday, January 22, 2018

Picky Eaters

Do you have a picky eater?  I have had quite a few!  One fellow would only eat our fresh baked, homemade bread and no other bread for years!  Another one would not eat potatoes, pasta or rice and still doesn't to this day!  Right now we are dealing with a little one who just hates to eat anything but fruit and carrots!  So, I have been delving into more research on how to best help that child and I am pleased to say, there is hope yet!

Since my little person is low weight, and honestly, I was as a child and have another couple of family members who were as well!  And since this little one is small to begin with, I wanted to make a tracking chart to go along with the weight chart to track dietary needs and to see how much food was being consumed!

There is also food allergies we are dealing with.  Multiple ones which we are figuring out as we go along so that was a tedious job to fit meals around what she would eat and what she could eat!  Phew!

I created this chart based on other charts I have seen.  It is tweaked to a 1400 calorie dietary need for a 2-5 year old.  It lists milk substitute as milk, but that is actually dairy or calcium count.  I used several books mentioned in the recent video and post.  This is now hanging on our fridge for checking off for a few weeks to reassess the dietary needs and make sure that I am feeding the little one as she needs to get optimum nutrition!

This is sideways but the link provided will print a landscape chart.
Here is the chart so you can print your own!

If you have a picky eater here are some things I have to share that will possibly help them.
  • Make sure that you aren't dealing with a true food allergy before proceeding.  God created our bodies to know what we need and don't need oftentimes before we begin to figure it out!
  • Let the child help prepare the food you intend to serve them or let them help in the kitchen.  Sometimes, the anticipation of getting to eat what you have prepared works wonders.
  • Be sure to provide snacks if they need them!  Make sure these snacks are optimal in nutrition and not just empty calories and junk!  Fruits, nuts/seeds as age appropriate, and vegetables are good choices.  Two snacks a day should be fine for a little one but for older ones, just one will suffice.
  • Serve their food on a brightly colored tray or place mat that would engage their senses.  Oftentimes this helps.
  • Serve them a bite of everything while their tastes are forming and require they at least try it before moving onto their favorite foods.
  • Don't make mealtimes a fight.  Offer the foods, if they won't eat, put it away until they say their hungry, then offer the plate again.  I get mine to eat this way if I mean what I say, they know it and I am happy and they are happy to eat what was served at the next meal.  Most of the time!
  • Make meals pleasant!  Nice upbeat music, candles - they sell battery operated ones at the dollar store if you are worried about a fire, a tablecloth and flowers help if you can do it.  Set your table ahead of time and you'll have no trouble pulling it off!
  • Lastly, don't fight it.  State what you want them to do, expect them to do it, and follow through.  "Everyone, it's time for dinner...I want everyone to clear their plate so they can grow big and strong like daddy/grandpa/Jesus/superman!  If you don't like something, take a thank you bite and don't say a word about it.  That is good manners to not complain about the food you are served.  We all want to have good manners!  Now, lets pray....."

You don't have to get this fancy, this was at a birthday party!

Meal times can be fun even for picky eaters and their parents.  Just make sure they are getting what they need and growing well by weighing and measuring them on occasion.  Do you have anything to add?

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