My son is a picky eater. It's easier to list the foods he does eat rather than ramble on about the endless list of things he won't. I've reached out to friends and family for suggestions. I've been accused of letting his limited repertoire of edible options dictate the family's menu. I've tried hiding vegetables, otherwise known as "The Enemy", in what he will eat. Not only did he refuse to eat the offending vegetables, but he swore off an old standby for months to follow.
I dread going anywhere for a meal. It means his dinner will likely be made up of chips, possibly milk (and only if it's chocolate), and maybe cake or cookies. Knowing he won't eat what's offered, I resort to filling him up with peanut butter and crackers on the way. Getting this child to eat is challenging. Like scratching an itch on your head in an astronaut suit is challenging. I'm told that one day, he will eat. Oh, to dream the impossible dream...
Just when I am ready to throw in my napkin and raise the white tablecloth, there is hope in the form of The No-Cry Picky Eater Solution by Elizabeth Pantley. I have two other no-cry solutions in my library of parenting resources. Still, I had such high expectations for this newest no-cry solution, I worried my hopes to reform my picky eater were unachievable.
I scanned through the first couple pages with specific questions in mind. I hoped I would learn what I was doing wrong. What had I done to my son that has completely fubared his diet? Early in the first chapter, "What You Really Need To Know About Picky Eaters", I found my answer.
Nothing. Picky eating is actually quite normal.
As the parent of a picky eater, I found the first chapter very reassuring. After discussing several possibilities as to why a child may be particularly choosy about what he considers edible, the chapter continues with educational food facts so parents can make better choices within the child's current diet.
Chapter two is packed with suggestions to encourage better eating habits, examples of child-size portions and a review of common mealtime perceptions that should be followed or reconsidered.
Chapter three discusses strategies to introduce new foods to your picky eater and ideas to encourage healthy eating habits, followed by a varied selection of recipes in chapter four that I'm confident even my son will try and enjoy.
The advice and suggestions throughout is reasonable and attainable. Picky eating affects the entire family, and there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution for any parenting challenge. Elizabeth Pantley's The No-Cry Picky Eater Solution offers several suggestions for each issue and encourages the reader to choose from the options and adapt it for their own unique situation.
The flexibility to try this and change that typically works well to resolve any parenting dilemma. Dealing with a picky eater is no different. The No-Cry Picky Eater Solution is plentiful in strategies that any parent can use to improve the diet of their picky eater, all of which are best served with a bountiful portion of patience.