If you’re a parent, there’s a good chance you’ve encountered some picky eating at one point or another. Perhaps your little one went through a phase of demanding only peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, macaroni and cheese or chicken nuggets. And that’s perfectly normal!
But when one dad found himself receiving complaints about dinner no matter what he chose to prepare, he decided that it was time to retire from cooking altogether. Below, you’ll find the full story, as well as an update, that this fed-up father shared on Reddit.
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This father was fed-up with his children complaining about dinner no matter what he chose to make
Image credits: Malte Helmhold (not the actual photo)
So he decided it was time to retire from cooking altogether
Image credits: cottonbro studio (not the actual photo)
Later, the dad shared an update on how his “retirement” went
Image credits: August de Richelieu (not the actual photo)
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Image source: BabyHooey
He also responded to several readers and provided additional information on the situation
It’s perfectly normal for kids to go through a phase of picky eating
Image credits: Karo Kujanpaa (not the actual photo)
As frustrating as it can be to deal with as a parent, it’s perfectly normal for children to go through some sort of picky eating phase. It usually takes place around the ages of 2 to 4, but parents certainly shouldn’t beat themselves up if it lasts a bit longer or takes place at an older age. I can say from personal experience that I assumed I didn’t like plenty of foods, including many vegetables, when I was younger, simply because I hadn’t been exposed to them. But today, there’s almost nothing I won’t eat! Sometimes, we just need to grow up a little bit for our palates to become more open-minded.
For a previous Bored Panda article, we got in touch with Registered Dietician Kinga Balogh, from JM Nutrition, to learn more about picky eating. She shared that anywhere from 12-50% of toddlers are picky eaters, while “the prevalence of picky eating is around 15-35% across the lifespan, arguably predominantly affecting individuals in the earlier part of their life.” In this particular case on Reddit, it seems like the children were being pickier than necessary, as they changed their habits after only a few weeks. But Kinga says it’s important for parents to be mindful of their children who are picky eaters, as it is a restrictive eating pattern and can sometimes lead to nutritional deficiencies and being underweight.
But parents and loved ones need to tread lightly when trying to get children to expand their palates
As far as what friends and family members can do to encourage picky eaters to expand their palates, Kinga says, “Expansion of food choices beyond nutritional adequacy is not clinically warranted. It is important to acknowledge that people are fairly set in their tolerance and interest to expand their palate, and this should be respected. While the well meaning support of friends and family can go a long way, one needs to be patient, tactful and creative in how they approach such delicate situations.” She notes that pushing food on children often backfires, and it may even be perceived as an attack on the individual.
There are certain strategies that are helpful when it comes to helping picky eaters eat a wider variety of foods. “Seeking the help of a Registered Dietitian and Mental Health Professional specializing in eating disorders can be a great step,” Kinga previously told Bored Panda. “Working with a medical professional, to diagnose and treat co-occurring conditions, such as eating disorders, mental health disorders or delayed growth in the pediatric population is also warranted.”
Dieticians recommend using lots of patience, rather than force, to get kids to eat a wide variety of foods
Image credits: Kelly Sikkema (not the actual photo)
“A Registered Dietitian, like myself, can help investigate the origins of picky eating, summarize the characteristics, and evaluate the impact on nutritional status and overall well being,” Kinga went on to share. “Such holistic assessment will then set the groundwork for collaboratively developing a care plan with the affected client to help remedy the situation. According to Ellyn Satter, Family Therapist and Registered Dietitian specializing in eating competence and food peace, the process of increasing food variety for extremely selective eaters often takes years. She warns: ‘Trying to speed up the process will slow it down.’ I would agree that proceeding with lots of compassion and patience is critical if one truly desires to see lasting change in eating behaviors.”
“Let’s tread gently when trying to bring others onboard with expanding their palate,” Kinga added. “Genetics, childhood feeding patterns and/or disordered eating behaviors may be at play, which in turn significantly influence one’s ability to diversify their food choices.” It seems that the father in this story had great success getting his kiddos to eat more by having patience and resisting the urge to force anything on them. Bravo, Dad! We’d love to hear your thoughts on this story in the comments below, pandas. Then, if you’re interested in checking out another Bored Panda article discussing a parent who taught their child a lesson when it comes to food, we recommend reading this piece next!
Readers applauded the father for his creative approach to picky eating
Some even shared similar stories of lessons they and their family members have learned