What’s a parent to do when a child simply will not eat?
Answer: You wait until they grow up to become both a chef and a parent himself.
What’s a parent to do when a child simply will not eat? Kyon Kazemi was the consummate picky eater as a child. He rejected foods ranging from milk, cheese, most proteins, cooked vegetables, salad — even any form of chocolate.
“You wait, and hope their palate will change” said Diane Kazemi. “Kyon was impossible. But then, so was I. I used to have to sit at the table until I finished my food. I remember stuffing it into my cheeks hoping that no one would notice. With Kyon I took the path of least resistance and when he discovered something that he liked, I fed it to him, often for days.”
“Everything changed when he started to travel in his teens. Kyon discovered rice and beans in Guatemala. That took him throughout Central and South America, eventually expanding his food horizons so much that he attended culinary school, becoming a chef himself.
Now Kyon is a father of his own child, too young to voice food preferences, but not too young to join the family at the table. And, the former picky eater frequently shares kitchen prep with his mother!
- Let even the youngest child join the family at the table. They may be too young to eat family food, but they will be exposed to the sights and smells. When they are old enough to eat “adult foods” offer child-size bites of food that attracts them.
- Don’t try and force the child to try a specific food.
- Encourage sampling in child-size bites.
- Keep track of what the child likes and offer that again.
- Don’t be discouraged when preferences vary from day to day.
- Try not to be tempted to offer “sweetened” baby foods. This may begin a long term, unhealthy sugar dependence.