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10 Rules for Picky-Free Parenting

These are our suggested 10 “rules” of picky-free parenting: 

  1. As parents, we will be good role models. We will only ask the kids to eat foods that we are willing to eat ourselves.

  2. As parents, we will decide what foods are offered, when, and where. As kids, we will decide of the food that is offered, what we will eat and how much.

  3. We will value the process of learning to be more adventurous eaters. We will be willing to try new foods, even if it is just a tiny bite.

  4. We do not have to clean our plates. We will listen to our bodies and let hunger be our guide.

  5. We will not offer food rewards. In other words, we do not have to ‘eat our vegetables’ in order to get dessert. We will not reward good behavior with sweets and ‘treats’.

  6. Mealtimes are a family affair. As often as we can, we will shop, cook, and eat together.

  7. We are one family, and we will eat one meal. We will not make separate meals. But we will be sure to include at least one thing each family member likes at each meal.

  8. We will learn together about food, nutrition, farming, and cooking.

  9. We will have fun, play, and experiment with new foods.

  10. We will be consistent in following these rules, but not rigid.

This is part of “The Picky Eater Project” series on New York Times Motherlode Blog by Sally Sampson and Natalie Digate Muth, M.D. Check it out every Wednesday as we document what happens.  

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