Becky and I work closely with moms of young ones every day as dietitians and one of the biggest complaints we hear is “they won’t touch anything I make because they are just so picky”. The first thing I say back is “Have you tried letting your son or daughter cook with you or even cook for you?”
This question is usually followed by a blank stare, so let me break it down for you. The last time you made dinner, how many times did you taste the food to see if it was coming along nicely? Personally, I taste my food at least 2 times while I’m cooking. Once to check the seasoning and once after I correct the seasoning. Truthfully, most of the time it’s closer to 10 times I am sure. If your kiddo gets hands on in the kitchen, they are more likely to taste new foods (at least 1 time). Also, after you are finished cooking don’t you feel excited to sit down and eat what you just made? Your kiddo is no different! Kids are far more likely to eat the food that they make themselves.
Another comment that I hear very frequently is “They only eat that kind of food when they are at their grandparents house”. Can you guess why? I don’t know about you but when I was a kid I would be all over the kitchen when my grandma was making dinner. She would let me wash the vegetables, roll out the dough, set the table, and usually make some crazy dessert concoction that everyone HAD TO TRY. Some of my favorite memories in the kitchen are at my grandmas house. I don’t know how many times she had to clean her orange shag carpet after I was done cooking (yes, her kitchen was wall to wall carpet). Thank you, grandma.
Transformations don’t happen over night. Don’t get upset if your kid doesn’t want to eat the food they prepared. Eventually they will. I promise.
Some additional things to try for picky eaters would be have them go grocery shopping with you and pick out which new foods they want to try that week. Also have your kiddo put his/her own food on the plate because you know if it is “their idea” they are way more likely to do it (including eating).