My children are picky eaters, and after reading Appetite for Life I now recognize the need to empower my children to make choices, rather than me deciding on my own what to serve for dinner.  But, honestly, I don’t want to give them a choice because I don’t like the food that they would choose!  What should I do?  -Menu-Making Mom

Kids flipping Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes at the Barn

Kids slipping Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes at the Barn Menu-Making Mom, I’m glad you’ve picked up on that theme in Appetite for Life!  Kids are much more likely to be interested in healthy eating when they can get involved in the growing, shopping or cooking process.  You’ll notice that all the recipes in Appetite for Life include suggestions on how to get kids to help you cook.  The more involved they are, the prouder they will be of the meal they helped prepare.  And that pride will translate to being open to (and probably even loving) the deliciously, nutritious dishes you make together.

In terms of your differing tastes from your children, that’s quite normal.  Some parents more have a more advanced palate than their kids and in some cases the versus is true.  What you need to do is find a balance between being the sole menu-maker and giving your kids free reign over meal choices. It’s a compromise.  Try suggesting three options that you’re happy to eat and let the kids choose from that selection.  Be sensitive to certain foods that you know your picky eaters don’t like much.  That way you’ve narrowed down the possibilities to prevent the kids from choosing something you dislike, while still allowing them to feel in control.  You’ll get the same enthusiasm and participation from your kids, but without feeling like you need to grudgingly give in to their unappealing requests.  If you are choosing from Appetite for Life, I would suggest offering BBQ Turkey Pizza, Yum! Yum! Dumplings or Cheesy Lasagna Rolls for their three options.  That should help keep everyone happy and well-fed!

– Stacey Antine, M.S. R.D., author, Appetite for Life and founder, HealthBarn USA

Do you have a confession to share with Stacey?  Want to learn how to improve an unsavory habit?  Send your stories our way to [email protected], and Stacey will help!


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