We decided to write this article for you because it makes us really sad – and angry – to hear this tired old judgemental perspective being bandied about.
“Well, if you did what I do and just not take any cr*p from them, they wouldn’t be picky”
“You obviously aren’t trying hard enough”
“It’s because you didn’t do baby-led weaning”
“Mine aren’t picky because I breast-fed”
“It’s hardly a surprise that they’re picky when she caters to them like that”
“In my day, if you didn’t eat what you were given, you went hungry. You’re too soft, that’s where you’ve gone wrong”
We are all parents – between the three of us behind Your Feeding Team (Jo Natalia and Simone) we have eight gorgeous kiddos. We know how it feels to feel vulnerable when parenting is not going to plan and we know how much it hurts to be blamed for that. That’s why it matters so much to us to share the message that picky eating is NOT your fault. We even have a whole video lesson devoted to it in our subscribers area!
How do we know it’s not your fault?
Nope, we’re not just being nice because we are kind people, we have looked closely at the research into picky eating. We know that there are tons of genetic factors that contribute to picky eating, as well as other things that you just can’t control. Here are a few examples:
- Prematurity – babies born before term are more likely to grow up to be picky. Your fault?
- Temperament – children who are naturally emotional or sensitive are more likely to be picky. Your fault?
- Taste buds – children who have super sensitive taste buds are more likely to be picky. Your fault?
- Allergies – children with allergies and intolerances may be less confident eaters. Your fault?
- Medical issues – children with a history of conditions like reflux may be more picky. Your fault?
- Sensory processing challenges – some children find processing sense data very difficult indeed. This is a huge factor in feeding challenges for many kids. Your fault?
We could go on with this list, but you get the idea. Yes, parenting plays a part, but it’s not the whole picture. And in almost all cases, when parents use approaches that they later re-assess, they used them for the best reasons and were going on the information they had at the time.
So please, let yourself off the hook and put your energy into recognizing all the great stuff you do for your child. Picky eating is not your fault and if anyone claims it is, that says so much more about them that it does about you. For a step by step guide to helping your child with their eating (AND building your own confidence as a parent) why not become a Your Feeding Team subscriber?