When you’re concerned about your picky eater, you’ve likely tried to change their eating habits already. Maybe you’ve bargained, distracted them when you passed by the cereal aisle while getting groceries, or said “never again” after a particularly embarrassing sugar-induced tantrum. I’d like you to try something new this time – change your mind about picky eating.
When you start absolutely determined to make this change and never look back, you will succeed. That change starts with a solid plan and a resilient mindset.
When you have your mind set to ‘everything can be figured out,’ you have no option other than success. This attitude allows you to be creative and flexible, and to trust your intuition.
If you’re not that confident yet, let me share three practices to easily help you overcome any resistance and set your mind to ‘I’ve got this.’
Change Your Mind about Picky Eating
1. What is your vision for your child and your family life a year from now?
The very first step on your journey of breaking a picky eating habit is to decide where your destination is.
What is your vision for the future? What will your child, and your life look, like a year from now?
Helping your child overcome picky eating will have its highs and lows. During the lows, it’s crucial to keep your eyes on the prize. In order to do that, you’ll need to have a clear vision of what future you want for your family. There’s no right or wrong vision; this is personal and unique to your family.
As a bonus exercise, think about what your life will look like in three years if you don’t make this change and your kid continues on the course they’re on now.
2. Create your goal.
Now, let’s take that vision and set some measurable goals.
“My child is healthy and happy, and eats a wide variety of foods” is a great thing to want, but that doesn’t give you something to measure your progress against. If that doesn’t happen entirely for two years, what’s going to help you stick with these food changes in the meantime?
Your goals will likely be related to the health outcomes you’re seeking, rather than specific foods to eat.
Here are some specific goal examples from my clients:
- Eating meat.
- Making eye contact.
- Not bringing home every cold from daycare.
- Saying a five-word sentence.
- Sleeping in their own bed.
3. Use Tapping to clear your hesitations and worries about implementing food changes.
Here’s a short Tapping script to get you started. Remember to use your child’s name and substitute or add any words that pop into your mind as you go through the Tapping points.
- Even though I’m so worried and I have no idea how I can really make these changes with them, I choose to love, honor, and believe in myself now.
- Even though I can’t imagine my kid eating these new foods, I choose to accept where we are right now.
- Even though I’m so afraid that my child is just going to starve and throw tantrums and it’s going to be absolutely miserable, I’m open to the idea that I can figure this out.
Eyebrow: My kid is never going to change the way they eat.
Side of eye: They are just so picky and I can’t imagine it being any other way.
Under eye: I’m sure these techniques to change a picky eater’s diet work for some people.
Under nose: But not for my kid.
Chin: I’m pretty sure my kid will starve themselves to death if I take away their favorite foods.
Collarbone: And I’m afraid that I’ll give in because I won’t be able to handle how upset they get.
Under arm: I’m also scared that I won’t get the support that I need from other people in my family, and that will just add to the battles.
Top of head: I just know I’m going to feel like the worst parent in the world.
Eyebrow: I have so much anxiety in my chest right now.
Side of eye: I feel like I can barely breathe when I think about making these changes.
Under eye: I don’t even know how I’m going to have time to make healthy meals all the time.
Under nose: Much less deal with all the push-back that I’m going to get.
Chin: And just imagine the food I’m going to end up throwing out.
Collarbone: This seems so unbelievably hard, but I know that I’ve got to make this change.
Under arm: In the long run what we’re doing now just isn’t going to work.
Top of head: My kid deserves better than what they have right now and I’m determined to see them change.
Eyebrow: Maybe it is possible for me to start making these changes.
Side of eye: Maybe I do have what it takes to figure this out.
Under eye: Other people have been in this exact same situation and their kids have changed.
Under nose: That gives me hope that I can do the same with my child.
Chin: I don’t have to have all of this figured out right this second.
Collarbone: I just have to start making my plan, and I’m open to everything else being figured out along the way.
Under arm: I choose to take this change one day at a time.
Top of head: I accept that everything I need to figure this out, and all the determination I need to see this through, is already inside of me. I’ve got this!
Repeat this Tapping script as often as you need. It’s especially useful to go through it each morning to help you start your day confidently.
Calming yourself through Tapping will help you stay focused on your bigger vision and goal, and remind you that this child was placed in your life for a reason. You are the ideal person to help them learn, grow, heal, and become the best version of who they are destined to be.
When you equip yourself with a resilient mindset and stress relief tools like Tapping, you will meet the goals you’ve set to realize your vision.
Looking for more specific strategies to overcome picky eating? Grab a copy of my book From Mac and Cheese to Veggies, Please.