05/04/2015 04:20 EDT | Updated 05/04/2015 04:59 EDT

Parenting Advice: Tips For Dealing With Picky Eaters

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I grew up in a big family and my parents had to stretch the family food budget. If I complained that I didn't like something that was served for dinner, the reply was always "good...more for us."

My mother was not going to be a short-order cook to her children. If you didn't like the meal, that was your challenge to face. If you were hungry and you didn't like what was served, you did your best to swallow it down with milk.

This approach may sound harsh to parents today, but in fact, it really is the best way to go. You see, children do have discerning palates, but they must also learn how to live among other people. Eating the family meal is basic training in how to be co-operative with others.

If we serve a child a separate meal, they may feel special and above the others in the family; a king being served a royal meal while his loyal subjects watch and cheer him on.

That experience of specialness can easily lead to an attitude of self-righteousness or a belief that the rules don't apply to me; that I am above the social order of the minions. Maybe it had not occurred to you that making your child a grilled cheese sandwich while others are having pork chops is exactly the early preparation needed for raising an adult who feels it's okay to park illegally, blocking morning traffic flow, so they can run into a Starbucks to grab their morning latte.

So, here are some tips for encouraging our picky eater to join us without indulging, nor starving them.

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