To the Mama of a Picky Eater

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Dear Mama,

I understand your struggle.  

I see how frustrated and concerned you are about how your kiddo is eating. I know the mealtime battles you are fighting and the difficult challenges you face at dinner time.

You may have scoured the books, articles, and blogs for ways to somehow get your child to eat. You’ve consulted your doctor, Google and every person you know on ways to navigate picky eating, and you’re exhausted.

You may be worried about how your child is growing or wondering if they’re getting all the nutrients they need to thrive. You may be confused about how to feed your kids or what to cook for dinner that they will actually eat.

I get it, because I’ve been there, too.

Let me give you some encouragement, mama.

You should first know that you’re doing a good job. Feeding our children well and nurturing healthy eaters is a big responsibility, and it’s easy to be hard on ourselves.

Something as straightforward as food and eating should be simple, right? You may feel guilty that something so “normal” is such a fight.

Understand that feeding our kiddos is a complex task, and we’re often not prepared to handle those harder situations that might come up. So please, give yourself some grace. Take a deep breath and remember, you are still a good mama because you care.

And when it comes to that sweet kiddo of yours that may be having a hard time eating - keep in mind that they are learning how to eat and enjoy food, too.

Just like riding a bike or reading, eating is also a skill that takes time to develop.

When we can patiently guide our children through the learning process of eating, they’ll be more open to the possibility of trying.

Willing to try those veggies that seem to go untouched on their plates or that new recipe that you’ve been wanting to make for the family. Open to the idea of having something besides chicken nuggets or mac n’ cheese; because when the pressure is not there, they’ll feel more freedom to learn and discover.

Sometimes as moms, we unknowingly push our preferences and ideals on how things should be on our kids, even if that is not who they were meant to be. This can be true with eating, too.

We might expect something for them that is just not doable quite yet, but it doesn’t mean we should quit trying or give up altogether. Instead, let’s stick to the things we can do best as mamas to our sweet kiddos.

What does that include?

It’s simple.

Love good food. Trust yourself. Share that love and trust with your child.

Because feeding your children involves more that just picking out food and making sure it gets into your child.

Feeding is about the love and connection that is building between you and your precious kiddos.

When the worries and stress start to creep in, remind yourself of the bigger picture. Don’t let anything take that away from you or the children you are doing such a good job raising.

Be patient with yourself and your child. Give yourself loads of grace. Reach out for help if you need it. Trust your intuition and understand that feeding is a relationship. It’s something that is blooming and flourishing with every feeding interaction.

You are the best mama for your kiddos. Even on the hardest days, you’ve got this.