Picky Eaters Are Made, Not Born
Eating whole food is the basic building block of health. For a lifetime of health, it’s imperative you teach your child how to enjoy whole foods.
If you have a picky eater, you need to change what you are doing. Your child will begin to eat whole foods, when you alter his/her environment.
The steps to healthy eating aren’t rocket science, although, structure is needed.
If you are willing to change what you do, then you can transform your picky eater into a healthy eater in short order. In fact, I can guarantee your entire family will benefit when you change what you have been doing.
First: Buy WHOLE Foods
Remove all processed junk foods from your home. If junk food is not in your kitchen, your child can’t eat it in place of whole foods.
Second: Set FIRM Boundaries
Kids need structure. You must set the rules and then outlast your picky eater. Kids are determined to get what they want. Unless you outlast them, they will win the battle over food.
Hands-on experiences in the kitchen are vital for the picky eater.
A trap parents often fall into is forcing a child to eat a refused food. That only results in food aversion. Another trap, on the opposite end of the spectrum, is fixing meals just for kids. Even though, you should not force a child to eat, you should never make meal/food exceptions for your kids. (Allergies being the exception to the rule.) Most times kids are testing you, to see how far they can go, but force NEVER works. That’s why you have to outsmart your picky eater.
Third: Multi-Sensory Learning is KEY
Enjoying whole foods is learned by using ALL the senses, not just taste. You must be willing to take the time to teach your child how to enjoy everything about food: the color, smell, texture and the taste of whole foods. This is accomplished by actively involving your child during a meal. Keeping the table talk positive, about what’s been served, observing the attributes of the food and how beneficial it is.
Sometimes parents forget they are their child’s first teacher and it’s their job to teach them to enjoy whole foods. Children love to help in the kitchen. Especially older kids, who have helped prepare a meal are more interested in eating it. Even younger preschoolers can be a part of the meal-making process.
Obviously, I wrote Baby Bites: Transforming Your Picky Eater into a Healthy Eater detailing exactly how to implement healthy eating. After bad habits have been engrained, it takes determination to change them. Baby Bites will give you the confidence and tools needed to transform your picky eater.
As a parent, you have the upper hand and control your child’s environment. The longer you wait, the more difficult it becomes to transform a picky eater, although, it’s never too late. It’s necessary for teens and adults to want to change their eating patterns. A child, on the other hand, doesn’t have to necessarily want to change, only you do. So go for it!
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