8 things only mums of picky eaters will understand

Living with a finicky little feeder? You’ll be able to identify with all of these statements!

As a first-time mum, Samantha Loh, 36, was ready to face most parenting challenges. She knew sleep was going to be erratic with a newborn, and there would be lots of crying and fussing.

 “I managed to handle every stage and the unique set of challenges that come with it pretty well, until it came to food,” says Loh. “I was stumped when my son woke up one day and refused to eat anything I gave him.”

Loh’s son Nick, 3, started off eating well when he was weaning, but became extremely picky when he turned 12 months. Everything he had eaten previously was a no-go and he would only open his mouth for bread, pancakes and boiled pasta with no sauce. 

“Everyone else’s kids were eating normally, except for mine. It was hard to explain to them what was going on,” Loh admits. “I also had sleepless nights worrying if the lack of nutrition was going to stunt his growth or leave him malnourished. It was very stressful.”

Lucky for little Nick, his mother wasn’t ready to give up without a fight. Loh read up on how to convert a picky eater, followed what experts said about offering the same food up to 15 times and found various ways to cook the few ingredients her son would eat.

While doing her research, Loh also realised that she wasn’t alone. There were other fussy feeders out there whose parents were struggling, just like she was. “It’s a unique kind of struggle that you will only understand when you’re in it,” she notes.

“Whenever we’re at restaurants, I’m always looking at what the other kids are eating and wish my child would be like that.”

So, exactly what is Loh talking about? We list eight things only parents who have picky-eating peewees will truly understand. 

#1 Introducing a new food is like starting a war

Junior may have been in the best of moods all day, laughing, making jokes and goofing around ― until dinner-time comes around. You plonk a plate of baked salmon, beans and rice in front of him ― three things he hasn’t seen together before. Then your little one starts to freak out, no way is that going into his mouth. It’s foreign and therefore must be “yucky”. No, no, no! The protesting turns into a full-blown meltdown and you spend the rest of dinner time trying to calm your cutie down. Better luck next time, you think to yourself.

#2 Getting junior to try something new will involve a lot of negotiation, plus some bribery

You may have been lucky enough to escape the above-mentioned scenario, but you know you’re still not out of the woods yet. He didn’t make a scene, but your finicky little fella is going to expect you to meet him halfway if you want him to taste whatever it is you put in front of him. You’ve been brushing up on your negotiation skills, because you know junior is going to try to get that “take five bites” demand you just made down to three. As much as you want to listen to experts who say you shouldn’t be bribing your child with treats, you know the reality is much more different. Somedays, it’s so hard to get anything into him that you cave in and offer a piece of chocolate in exchange for half an eaten meal.

#3 You will feel envious of parents who have kids who eat everything

“Whenever we’re at restaurants, I’m always looking at what the other kids are eating and wish my child would be like that,” says mum Clara Chan. You never thought that day would come, but it has. You’re secretly resentful of parents who have children who eat whatever they’re given with zero drama. It never fails to surprise you, and you sometimes wish these kids would also kick a fuss once in a while, so their parents will feel your pain. See what your picky eater has reduced you to!