Chicken Finger Household

Our kids will only eat macaroni and cheese or chicken fingers. We, on the other hand, are getting tired of these limited choices and would like to try different foods. Got any ideas for us? 

No More Chicken Fingers

Dear NMCF:

Ah, yes. I think we can all relate. At some point, almost every child goes through a phase when they only want to eat from the same tiny menu at every meal. It seems that the harder we try to please, the worse it gets. And you know, catering to individual tastes is probably part of what creates picky eaters in the first place!

There are a lot of reasons for this, but you don't need to analyze your kids' choices. Whatever their reasons might be, it's time to cut yourself some slack. As parents, we feel daily pressure to make sure our kids are properly nourished, and this pressure can really zap the joy out of our own love of food. But if you cook for yourself, along the way, your kids will see how much you enjoy what you're eating. 

How can we encourage a broader taste palette in our kids (without the drama)? We can start by introducing new items together with familiar ones and involve the kids in the preparation. Let's talk about the food in question. Even if they don't love the meal itself, they'll like learning about it. And being interested in food is a great first step. 

Most of all, we need to be patient. They might not try it the first time, but after repeated exposures to various new foods (and your own positive reaction to food) they just might be willing to give it a shot. 

It's also good to remind ourselves that our kids will eventually eat something to sustain themselves. It is part of their biological imperative to survive, after all.

How about you--do you have any great experiences to share? Just add them to the comments below!

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