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I Had 3 Picky Eaters. After A Year Of Constant Travel, I Have None.

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I Had 3 Picky Eaters. After A Year Of Constant Travel, I Have None.

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Courtesy of Colin Kelly
I Had 3 Picky Eaters. After A Year Of Constant Travel, I Have None.

Courtesy of Colin Kelly © Courtesy of INSIDER. Courtesy of Colin Kelly.

  • I tried everything to get my three children to eat different foods, but nothing worked.
  • It got to the point where I choked on everything I cooked.
  • After a year of traveling around Latin America, my kids are no longer picky eaters.

Bag or treat style meals have become my family norm. The ice tray became a rainbow buffet designed to tempt my picky eater: strawberry slices for vitamin C, blueberries for antioxidants, hard-boiled egg saturn for protein. But those sharp young eyes always found spinach in my sandwiches.

I put on a chef's hat and explained to the children the importance of healthy eating. I built a chicken coop to keep them close to their food roots. I lured them into the kitchen. Now my 3 year old son has enviable knife skills. I also enrolled my oldest son in a cooking class where he expertly rolled pizza dough and topped it with nothing but bell peppers.

When my children encountered a new food, they avoided it, sometimes resisted it. They have a natural hatred and sensitivity. I was overwhelmed with explanations and warnings. Kids need options to fill their energy buckets, but not too many options. This is a phase, not hell. Irritability is developmentally appropriate.

The observant pediatrician told me to feed her the ice cream and I happily hugged her.

With picky eaters, the three were impossible to please.

All parents want to fill their children's stomachs with the nutrients they need to grow. I was hoping to instill a long-term openness, but our organic produce and three-bite rule didn't matter. They knew what was on the shelves and only ate broccoli when asked.

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It seemed impossible to squeeze the benefits of three children into the structure of the food pyramid and in his own time. I was smothered in homemade chicken soup, strained chicken. My health vision made me a personal chef, and no advanced canning technique could get me out of this jam. He was tired of begging for lightly buttered fritters.

We moved to Latin America for a year

My family decided to leave the US and embark on a permanent tour of Latin America. We dined in the culinary meccas of Mexico City, Antigua and Lima, Peru. During a week in Oaxaca, Mexico, we all accidentally ate grasshopper tamales and flying ant salsa.

One of us, me, almost threw up. But it was the beginning of a second parallel journey for our children, with less food than usual and a little space to breathe while eating.

I go through the menu with attractive translations. Tlayuda is like pizza, and tejate is like "hot chocolate, but earthier." These vague features make the sample mouth-watering without being very convincing.

This period of research arose out of a lack of alternatives. The host came every morning at 7:30 with dolls, homemade dough with tomato sauce and sauerkraut. There was no market nearby, no chips, no syrup, no choice. Children took breakfast for granted in El Salvador.

Your hustle is gone

When the best foods are scarce, my kids eat what's available. Cinnamon was disgusting, but no one has given it up since the days of Mexican churros.

The organic imperative took over, and some of the culinary reviews I mistakenly prepared disappeared.

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Every country brings a change in food culture. There's no brand recognition or American cooking styles, so our kids can't reject what they don't know. They are very curious, very hungry. I haven't cheated on them in a year and trying all these things is the new normal. We respect their sensibilities enough that we don't push when they object.

From rainforests to deserts, our children eat what the earth has to offer. Their diet has expanded and this diversity has had a positive effect on their health: papaya provides fiber, chocolate provides vitamin A, rambutan provides potassium.

Remember that nutritional balance is not determined by the food groups on the plate, but by a series of successful courses around the world.

I've had kids in the past who liked to pickle, but never. This trip allowed us as parents to always say what we need: "This is our food."

Right abdominal pain after eating? – The reason for abdominal pain on the right side is Dr. Berg

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