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Moms Talk: Should Picky Eaters Be Reformed?

This week, we're asking St. Louis parents to dish up their suggestions for picky eaters.

Your third grader, Johnny, is a picky eater. He pushes all his vegetables to the side. He feeds scraps to the dog. He wants to snack all the time on chips, Ding Dongs and a wide variety of junk food.

Your doctor says that he's downright skinny but that he will survive.

So onto this week's question: Do you force food upon him or just hope he will outgrow this stage of his life?

L Jacoby January 18, 2012 at 05:42 PM
Because I control Johnny's finances, he gets no money for junk food. At meal times, he can pick and choose what he wants to eat from what the family is being served. If he doesn't like what we're eating, he's welcome to wait until the next meal to see if something at that meal suits him better. I would never force food on a child (or anyone else for that matter). When possible, I would engage Johnny more actively in meal preparation ("You choose—baked potato or mashed?") because sometimes food pickiness is a way children demonstrate they want to be more in control.
Martha Baur January 18, 2012 at 08:29 PM
I'm not too concerned with picky eaters of which I have three! I do make sure they get lots of fruits, calcium and protein. If they don't like what's for dinner, they are free to make a peanut butter sandwich. Chances are they'll grow out of it. Until then, plain boring food it is.
Laura Falk January 19, 2012 at 01:44 PM
I'm with Martha. I have a picky eater (and was a picky eater), and while occasionally frustrating, I know things will improve with time. We have limited junk food in the house, so that part isn't a big issue. A few months ago, my picky 9-year-old actually decided he liked spinach salad, so there's definitely hope!

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