Travelling can Cure a Picky Eater?1/20/2012 Heather watched her picky eater mow through plate after plate of food in South America where options were mostly very good steak, pizza and salad so it was easy to shrug it off. In China, there would be only fried noodles mixed with vegetables and in a sauce. He ate it. Steamed dumplings with surprise fillings? Ate that too. He did it consistently, constantly and without any of our prodding. The question is: Why now?
By Heather Greenwood Davis
Edited by Deb Lowther (IronKids Mom)
We are following the Davis family on their yearlong trip around the world and provided a supply of IronKids Vitamins to ensure the kids stayed healthy while visiting far away countries. There will be healthy food options in these countries, but it may be food their children won't recognize, let alone eat! One of the families biggest questions going into this year long trip was, what would their picky eating 9 year old eat with no comfort foods or familiar snacks to rely on? When He asked what will he eat, “Whatever they’ve got,” was always the answer from parents Heather & Ish Davis. It seems to have sunk in.
Heather watched her picky eater mow through plate after plate of food in South America where options were mostly very good steak, pizza and salad so it was easy to shrug it off. In China, there would be only fried noodles mixed with vegetables and in a sauce. He ate it. Steamed dumplings with surprise fillings? Ate that too. He did it consistently, constantly and without any of our prodding. The question is: Why now?
Heather thinks she found the answers (excerpt from Toronto Star Article Nov 18th)
1. Travel is one of those unique experiences when much of what kids are being exposed to is different. Adding food to that list didn’t phase him. He wasn’t sitting at the same table in the same chair with the same menu. A trip to a foreign destination was the perfect time to experiment with food.
2. We stuck to our guns. We told him for months before we left home that the food would be different and that on this “amazingly fun” trip around the world he’d need to commit to at least trying it as we go. We said it constantly. For months. And it stuck. It became his mantra (“I just have to try it.”) and we’d hear him repeating it to himself before he bit into something new.
3. We gave him room to not like it. I was a picky-eating kid and still am, to a lesser extend, today. I understand that broccoli has less appeal than chocolate. If he took a couple of bites and didn’t like it, we praised him for giving it a try. Without thepressure to like it, he seemed more willing to give it a go.
4. We stopped second-guessing him. We’ve lived with the kid for nine years. We know what he likes, right? Wrong. I realized that we’d grown so accustomed to choosing his foods and making mealtime easier that we weren’t giving him room to make new choices. The first time we presented him with a menu in the Galapagos Islands he ordered octopus. The next? Lobster. He’s an expensive eater but he’s way more adventurous than we gave him credit for.
5. We encouraged him to keep going without making a big deal about it. Gentle suggestions (“Love that you’re eating that shrimp, buddy! Want to try seafood sauce?”) were met with much more consideration when he realized we didn’t care either way. And once he’d tried one category of food we found he was much more receptive to others (“You know what’s just like lobster? Crab!”).
I can't wait to see what the next 8 months of travelling and exciting new foods will bring. Eventually they will return home, curious is the old habits will return also!