Question from Sarah: How do I get my kids to eat more than just one or two parts of the meal?

Nov 25, 2013 by

DEAR ANNA: “Let’s say we put out a roast chicken with cauliflower, sliced raw cucumbers and home-made biscuits. I have one child out of my three that will only eat the meat, another that will only eat the biscuit, and my third that will only eat the vegetables and the biscuit. We don’t pressure them or bribe them with dessert. (true “dessert” only happens when we bake something together or if watermelon is in season). But even when their only option is home made food do I let them take the only kind they want? They are hungry (it’s been hours since after-school snack) but they could still just fill up on one thing for days!”

DEAR SARAH: I love your question! Thanks for asking me. I have a few different thoughts about ways you could address this imbalance in what your kids want to eat. Whatever you do, I…

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Moving Down Mom’s Hierarchy of Foods: How “Finding Something Your Kid Will Eat” Entrenches Picky Eating

Oct 21, 2013 by

“We wonder how we get started doing these things, but we do them.”  — Mom of a budding picky eater

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When I was little, sometimes at dinner my mom might ask me if I wanted more of something, let’s say a dish called “Spanish Rice” (that’s something I remember not liking much as a child),  and I might answer, “I’m full for that.” I might often have been “full for” the main meal, yet if dessert was forthcoming, I was usually not “full for” that.

We all have a hierarchy of our preferred foods. If we are extremely hungry, we may feel “hungry enough to eat a horse” or horse meat, or even a hunk of hard, dry, unseasoned liver. Hunger makes food more appealing. If that horse, or horse meat, or even well-prepared liver appears on the table, though most people will pass on it unless they are truly about…

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How to Reward Picky Eaters for Being Picky

Sep 11, 2013 by

My daughter the psychology major taught me an important parenting lesson the other day.

She was an intern on a research study on children this summer. The study was looking into the ways children learn verbs. So for several weeks, the research team brought in children ages about 18 months to about four, one by one, with their parents, to be tested and observed, to get data for the study.

One day, a little boy about two years old came in with his dad. Little Josh refused to interact at all with the researchers. He acted extremely shy, burying his face in dad’s chest. He wouldn’t cooperate in any way. On and on, the researchers, along with the dad, desperately attempted to lessen his discomfort and entice him to go along with the program. Finally, the dad stepped up and said to Josh, “If you will do what they want you…

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Sacred Appetite Goes Undercover to Expose the PediaSure Picky Eater Hotline Scandal

Aug 25, 2013 by

Or: “PediaSure: Why Not? Part II”

Late on the evening of August 15, I picked up a brochure in a pediatrician’s waiting room.

Live 1-on-1 nutritional support for picky eating problems. Dietitians available 24/7,” it declared.

“Has picky eating taken over? We’ll help you take back the table and build lifelong healthy eating habits,” the headlines continued.

Then I saw it: “PediaSure Feeding Expert.” The hackles rose on the back of my neck.

“‘Feeding Expert,’ indeed,” thought I. “Like Jack Daniels offering a free helpline for alcoholics. Their answer to the problem is probably along the lines of ‘the hair of the dog that bit you.’ PediaSure is a short-term ‘solution’ that makes the problem worse.”

I have an adversarial relationship to PediaSure, you see.

Admittedly it’s a one-sided relationship. It’s like David and Goliath, but Goliath isn’t aware of David.  Few, in fact, know that this David…

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