It goes something like this: life’s humming along, and your kids are eating pretty well. Of course there’s room for improvement, but they’re getting a decent variety of proteins, grains, and fruits, plus a few veggies here and there. Then, seemingly overnight, one of your kiddos decides she wants NOTHING but waffles. For every meal. It can be confusing and frustrating to watch this happen, but often there’s a reason (sometimes subtle, sometimes not) behind kids’ sudden pickiness. We have identified 5 causes of sudden picky eating you might identify with.
Why Do Kids Suddenly Become Picky Eaters?
Identifying and understanding WHY kids go on a sudden cracker or yogurt jag can help you know how to navigate back to normal eating habits… and stay sane while you wait for your child to get there. Here’s what might be causing sudden pickiness in your kids:
- Your kids are sick, or they’ve recently been sick. Sometimes a hearty appetite can be the last thing to recover after illness.
- You’re vacationing, or otherwise eating away from home. When kids don’t have the anchor of familiar surroundings, they might try to compensate by seeking familiar foods.
- You’re coming off a sweet-filled holiday. Palates adjust to sugary foods FAST. It can take a few days of normal meals for kids’ tastes to get back in balance.
- Your kids are nervous or stressed. It’s hard to think of our little ones under stress, but it happens, and it can noticeably restrict their eating.
- Your kids are growing. When kids have growth spurts, their bodies may crave energy-dense foods for a short while, to the exclusion of fruits and veggies.
What can you do to help steer kids out of a picky phase?
These are some of our best strategies for encouraging picky eaters to eat a greater variety of healthy foods:
- My Best Strategy for Getting a Picky Eater to Eat
- 21 Days of Things to Do with a Picky Eater
- Tips for Getting Kids to Try New Foods
- 10 Ways to Push Veggies Without Being Pushy