Hi! I am Marci. I am the mom of a picky eater. Anyone who is a parent can tell you that there is no joy in trying to figure out what to feed the picky eater in your family. But if you do, I applaud you! Please share your secret! It’s not for a lack of ideas. It’s not for a lack of planning or willingness. I try. I REALLY try. But the picky eater is getting on my last nerve.
I remember a time when I could make pretty much any type of meat and this picky eater would eat without any complaints. The picky eater would even eat vegetables! But once the picky eater turned 5 1/2, everything changed. All children go through a point in time when all they eat is maybe 2 things. I went through the chicken nugget phase, the mac-n-cheese phase, the peanut butter and marshmallow phase, the don’t let anything touch on the plate phase. You name it, I went through it with all of my kids. But this picky eater of mine has taken it to a whole new level!
There are 5 foods my picky eater will eat~ cheeseburgers, pepperoni pizza, soft pretzels, chips, and baked goods/sweets. If forced the picky eater will eat~ buttered noodles, chicken, and rice. There are only so many different ways you can prepare these foods. But I can honestly say, I do not make the picky eater a separate meal. The rule in our home is you eat what is served or to quote my preschooler “You get what you get and you don’t get upset”. My non-picky eaters are deprived of good food most of the time.
It seems our “go to meals” are~ Angel Hair Pasta saute’ in garlic and olive oil, some sort of concoction made with ground beef, and usually a chicken dish. Not bad but sometimes when the recipe doesn’t go so well, I get these looks from my kids and I keep thinking when they are adults I will be known as “the mom that couldn’t cook”.
Lunch is a whole other ball game. The picky eater packs because according to the picky eater (and my oldest does not help) the food at school is “yucky”. With all the new rules with what you can and can’t bring to school due to allergies just imagine this fun task! The poor kid- no let me change that to this poor mom packs pretty much the same things 5 days a week. The picky eater’s lunch is very nutritious….soft pretzel, juice/water, 2 snacks (cheez-its, goldfish, chips) but I usually try to throw in a clementine and a granola bar because we all know the picky eater’s teacher see what the picky eater is eating! I have tried and once again failed to send the picky eater’s favorite pepperoni and cheese sandwich because the picky eater ONLY likes it warm or as the picky eater likes to put it “right out of the oven”.
Is the picky eater starving? Well when the picky eater comes home- yes. I really don’t worry about the picky eater’s health because I am here to tell you that the picky eater is thriving! It is just one of those things that flat out annoys me and gives me unnecessary stress. I feel like I need to prepare a letter for my picky eater to read one day when the picky eater looks back and tries to blame me for whatever it is about food, food choices, growing up eating this or that, whatever. This picky eater needs to know that it was all the picky eater’s fault. This picky eater’s mom tried and made things that even our dog wouldn’t eat just to feed the picky eater.
Dear Picky Eater,
I would like to thank you for making your childhood adventurous. When it came to satisfying your appetite, your difficulty made me think outside the box. I made cheeseburgers wrapped in crescent rolls. I made pounds and pounds of pasta covered in butter and “sprinkle cheese” in a variety of ways only to have you want it the same way ALL.THE.TIME. Because of your selective taste buds, your siblings and I knew where all the good places were in town to eat that not only served cheeseburgers to your liking but the french fries had the “best seasonings”.
Thanks to your unique taste in food, I could make a mean pepperoni and cheese sandwich on a roll, on sour dough bread, wrapped in a crescent roll or in/on any sort of carb imaginable. I could tell anyone where to find the “big box” of soft pretzels without having to belong to one of those club stores. Thanks to your unique taste in food, places to eat while on vacation became a priority. The discussions always began with “(Picky eater) will love it here because they serve meat and bread!”
So my picky eater, please do not come back to me and ask why I “made” you eat this or that. My wish for you is to one day have a picky eater all your own whom you will love and make food in so many creative ways with a smile on your face. You will then look at me and remember why I needed a glass (or 2 or more) of wine each night.
I love you to infinity and beyond,