To solve the problem of picky eaters, I discovered my favorite tag line, THIS IS WHAT’S FOR DINNER. In our household, I decided that what I prepare is what is available for that meal.
In my family friendly kitchen, if my children completely refuse to eat what I have served, then the meal is over because “This is what’s for dinner”. I deliver this line calmly and quietly without shouting, screaming, or dirty looks.
It is entirely the choice of that family member whether or not they eat the meal. I do not offer another alternative because I am simply not a very prolific cook. I do make sure the meal has a variety of tastes, textures and colors so there are appropriate choices on the plate.
Other mothers I have spoken with are often astonished that I have adopted the “this is what’s for dinner” approach. I reassure them that my family won’t be malnourished. I reassure them that as a woman in my 40’s, I can make decisions for my three children.
I reassure myself that I have not lost my mind.
As long as there are not other pervading health issues, my child will not starve if they miss a meal. They will probably eat more at their next meal as nature provides them with an appetite.
Although I have considered it on several occasions, I never bribe my children to eat their food. That goes back to food having more emotional power than it should and will cause more problems down the line.