You’ve spent 27 minutes trying to get your kid to eat a single pea, only to find out that they’ve sworn off green vegetables for good…along with anything that has sauce or a single speck of black pepper (“bugs”) on it. It’d be easy to entice them with a cookie or even drop down and beg, but you still have a shred of dignity, so you try the oldest trick in the book and say:
“If you don’t eat all your [insert current despised food], you can’t be in the clean plate club.”
Oops—according to the experts, it turns out you just hurt your cause. We tapped Heidi Miller, CCC-SLP, COM, a pediatric feeding specialist, to find out what’s the best approach on the quest to transform a picky eater into a curious, open-minded epicurean (or, you know, just a kid who eats more than PB&J). The best strategy? It’s kind of counterintuitive. Here’s what you should and shouldn’t do.