Nov
16

HELP! My Child is A Picky Eater Part 2

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Healthy Eating –   Picky Eater Series Part 2

My child is a Picky Eater “Part 2” continues with creative ideas and ways to encourage your children to eat healthy foods and to be more expansive in their eating habits. Be sure to read part 1 of “My Child Is A Picky Eater Part 1″ with topics that include the following:

1. Do you expect your kids to eat the same foods as you?

2. Assume your kids will like to eat “adult food.”

3. Eat as healthy as you would want your kids to eat.

Part 2- Continued From Part 1:

#4: Be Careful How You Talk About Food With Your Kids

I advise parents to be REALLY careful what they say in front of their kids in regards to eating and in regards to food. As parents we can send a loud and clear message to kids that “healthy foods are not as good as junk food, sweets and/or salty foods.” We can communicate this message just by the way that we act and speak.

For example, lets say that there are two moms having a play date with their kids and one asks if her daughter wants to eat an apple.

The second mom responds by saying right in front of her daughter…….”well…..we can TRY to see if my daughter will eat it. She is a very picky eater and  doesn’t like any healthy foods. Honey….do you want to some apples?”

Of course the little girl doesn’t want to eat apples because mom has already told her that she does not like  “healthy foods.” This mom has indirectly said to her child that “healthy foods” are not good, she has accepted the fact that her daughter is a picky eater. This mom is also sending the indirect message that she is okay with the fact that her daughter will not eat anything that is healthy! 

How we speak to our kids about food has a huge impact on them.

As parents, we wouldn’t say right in front of our child….”Johnny doesn’t like to read, he only likes to do “FUN things.” Then proceed by asking…………

……..Oh Johnny….do you want to read a book? (The reason we would not say this is the child hears…READING ISN’T FUN and mommy thinks that reading isn’t fun and therefore, I don’t like reading!)

Remember, if you expect that your children will be picky, then they will.

#5: Do You Believe That It Is Healthy For Your Kids To Get Hungry?

Do you believe that it is okay for your child to ever be hungry between breakfast, lunch or dinner? I DO!

I don’t mean that they are hungry for hours, but if kids are hungry at 11:15, they can wait to have lunch at 12!

When a child says they are hungry regardless of the time of day, panic sets in for moms and the snacks start flowing!
Hunger is a healthy part of life and food tastes SO good when you are truly hungry. If children learn to eat only when they are hungry, they will avoid many problems with their weight, over-eating and will enjoy the pleasure of eating good foods much more.

Why is hunger related to being a picky eater?

Well so often kids are presented with healthy foods when they are not even hungry to eat them.
When you are not hungry, the only foods that taste good are foods that are not healthy for you. However, when you are truly hungry, all sorts of foods start to taste really good….even a big plate of vegetables!

#6: Stop Giving Kids Snacks All Day Long

Snacking all day long has seemed to become part of our culture. Some people believe that 6 little meals are better then 3….or 8 are even better. That is completely the choice that everyone makes, but I can see the impact it has on kids.

Our society seems to panic at the thought of our child being hungry for 1/2 hour without a snack. Our kids are growing up in a culture in which we snack all day long!

At play dates, all the mom’s bring an assortment of snacks, fruit, granola bars, nuts, crackers, yogurt, and raisins, and even if they are healthy snacks….they fill kids up so they are not hungry for dinner.

Crackers are the most common snack I see; often filled with high fructose corn syrup and salt.

Then these same moms wonder  why their kids don’t want to eat lunch, or never finish their dinners. If they fill up on snacks all day long they won’t be hungry for any meals!

If my kids are hungry at 11:30, I tell them that we will soon be having lunch at 12. Hunger isn’t going to hurt them. My kids almost always eat their entire lunch and dinner, because they are not filled up already.

This is not to say that you can never give your kids a snack. However, if your kids are not eating their lunch or dinner, start by reducing their snack by 1/2 to see if that makes a difference. Even eliminating some snack times may be needed depending on their appetites.

Please add your comments and share your stories about challenges you have with your kids being picky eaters, what has worked and what has not!

Happy, healthy eating!

 

      
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