Why does it seem that the pickiest of eaters always try to pass themselves off as the latest upcoming culinary critic?

It is especially annoying when you have spent a couple of hours on a special Sunday dinner, only to have your six-year-old son tromp the kitchen loudly declaring…

“Something stinks and I’m not eating it!”

Trisha, from England, said that her son is still her pickiest eater and although he does not do it so much now, he used to be famous for turning up his nose at her home-cooked meals and insisting on eating prepackaged foods that were just made with water.

On the other hand, some children have been known to prefer instant macaroni and cheese because they can fix it themselves, which gives them a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.

That is why I highly recommend letting your children help you in the kitchen with meal preparation. You see the more familiar your picky eater becomes with handling the food the more inclined they will be to taste it.

“Get a stepstool and ask your kids to lend a hand in the kitchen with easy tasks,” says Sal Severe, PhD, author of the book, How to Behave So Your Children Will, Too. “If they participate in helping to make the meal, they are more likely to want to try it,” he says. This can include pouring ingredients into a bowl, draining the liquid from the corn, washing vegetables, or stirring the contents of a dish.

In addition, encourage your child to help with mealtime preparations by setting the table, folding napkins, clearing the table after dinner, washing the dishes, or other age-appropriate tasks.

Plan weekly menus together with your children, allowing them to be involved in the decision making process. That does not mean that mealtimes are planned around their expectations, but at least they will have a heads up if you are going to serve something new or different. You might even let your child pick one night where he can decide what the menu will be. Even if he just wants buttered pasta noodles and nothing else, you can still serve sauce on the side along with a salad.

Most important of all…

Do Not Make Food a Major issue!

This will only lead to more serious problems in the future. As children get older they want independence, they want to be able to make their own decisions. If they start to feel that food is an area they have no control over then they will often try to take control, usually by becoming less open to new foods which can lead to more problems in the future.

Allow your picky eater to make their own decisions and allow them to be part of the solution!

About the Author

Jason Katzenback shows you step-by-step how to handle Picky Eaters with his highly praised resource ‘Help There is a Picky Eater in The House!’ Full of Proven Strategies & Simple Recipes that are 100% Guaranteed to Work. http://www.mypickyeater.com.