Family,  Tactile Defensiveness

Our Family’s Two Completely Different Types of Picky Eaters

The other day, I was talking to my youngest daughter about her picky eating. She commented about how she is a picky eater, but her brother is a picky eater, and he has an excuse. Then she said she was so sorry about being a picky eater. After some thought, I realized my family has two types of picky eaters.

Our Picky Eater #1 – My Son

Our family’s number one picky eater is my son. He has tactile defensiveness. (Read more about his challenges with tactile defensiveness). If you’ve been following this blog, you’ve heard about it, but for a quick overview, my son doesn’t like how things feel on his skin. This also includes how food feels in his mouth. Because he has tactile defensiveness in his mouth, he has difficulty eating certain foods.

Finding something for him to eat at mealtime is challenging and a daily struggle. He won’t eat anything slimy or gooey, such as soup or pasta with any sauce. What usually ends up happening is he will find something he likes to eat, and then he eats that until he doesn’t like it anymore, and then the process starts all over. This makes it hard for me to make dinner for him. He will usually try something new if it doesn’t look too gooey. A lot of the time, I typically have to find something else for him to eat other than what we are having for dinner.

I know there are a lot of you out there who are probably saying make him eat what you cook. With him, it just isn’t that simple. I try to make food for dinner that he will eat, but sometimes, I like to make what I want to eat. I make him try it, and sometimes he will, but he often doesn’t like how it feels in his mouth. So, with him, I try to do the best I can.

Our Picky Eater #2 – My Youngest Daughter

Our family’s number two picky eater is my youngest daughter. She doesn’t like anything. Listen, I mean anything when I say she doesn’t like anything. I try to make a variety of food for her, but she won’t eat anything. She is the most stubborn person I have ever met! Her essential meal is pasta but without sauce. It’s just plain old pasta, sometimes with melted butter. There are very few other things that she will eat.

It is hard to explain why she has to eat something when her brother doesn’t. She has grown up watching her brother being a picky eater, so she comes by it honestly and thinks she doesn’t have to eat something if he doesn’t. She is still young and doesn’t fully understand her brother’s condition. We have tried explaining it to her, but it is hard for her to comprehend. Now that she is getting older, she is starting to understand, but that hasn’t made up for the years of her picky eating.

I believe most of her picky eating comes from being afraid. She’s often afraid to try something new and thinks she will not like it, so she doesn’t try it.

How Do I Handle My Family’s Picky Eaters?

Now that you understand more about what kind of picky eaters I have, you are probably wondering how I handle it. Honestly, there is no magical way to handle it. The best thing I do to help them with their picky eating is encouragement. I try to encourage them to try new foods. It doesn’t always work, but when it does, it feels like such a milestone for me and for them.

Is there some magical way to get your picky eater to eat? I am going to say no. I think each child is different. What works with my son doesn’t work with my daughter. I would do the best you can with your child. They can be stubborn, that is for sure. I must remind myself to keep going constantly; you are doing great!

I would love to hear from anyone with a picky eater and how they deal with it. I often feel at my wits’ end. Please comment and share your knowledge so we can all help each other.

I am a stay-at-home wife and mother to three amazing kids. Our family is in constant battles with ADHD and tactile defensiveness. I think we're the perfectly imperfect family! I am an introvert, and I recently discovered that I am a highly sensitive person. I love to be at home, and my favorite hobbies are reading, cooking, watching movies, puzzles, and playing games with my family.

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