Q. My child used to eat everything and now at four, she’s an extremely picky eater. How can I encourage her to eat foods other than pancakes, buttered pasta and peanut butter and jelly?

A. Aw, the Carbatarian who enjoys fat as a side dish — very common, but very upsetting to parents, especially moms. Our first way to nurture our babies is through food. Eating what we provide tells us they love and appreciate how much we do for them. Not to mention the pride we take in the child who gobbles tofu and grilled eggplant. In an age where a whole television network is devoted to food, who wants the kid who only eats boxed mac n’ cheese?

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Let go. If she’s truly eating peanut butter and taking vitamins, as long as your pediatrician finds her to be in good health, let it go. The more attention you give it the more she will push away from trying other things. Taste buds change and as hers developed, she likely is more sensitive and truly finds things noxious. Think of it this way; have you ever gone to dinner with a thirty-year-old woman who ordered pancakes and peanut butter for dinner? Neither will your daughter. She will outgrow this. Certainly offer a variety of foods — make pasta and butter for dinner, but provide other things as well. There are good cookbooks; many people find success in engaging the picky eater in the cooking process. Do not stress her or yourself out. Food issues and girls are a bad combo.

— Lonna Corder


Parenting expert and Montessori school director, Lonna Corder has been doling out advice for 25 years as a teacher, parent/child consultant and on television. For more information, visit lonnacorder.com.

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