How to Get the Picky Eater to Eat: in the Woods or in the Pasture?

Mar 2, 2012 by

 

Getting kids motivated to eat is a lot like getting sheep to eat.

If sheep are allowed to run free in the woods, they are in danger. When they get hungry there, they will probably eat something harmful instead of the right things. Not much good grass in the woods.

The sheep might even fall in a hole or off a cliff, or be terrorized by a rushing stream. They could be eaten by a wolf, run over by a car, or shot by a hunter.

So the shepherd watches over the sheep and places them within limits. The shepherd selects the best pasture of green grass he can find, and builds a fence around it. He gently lures his sheep…

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Serious Reasons Not to React to a "Picky" Toddler

Feb 21, 2012 by

If you give your toddler some sticks of red pepper as part of her lunch, what should you do if she chews them up and spits them out?

  • Some parents will decide they need to find a way to make the peppers acceptable, like peeling them or disguising them in ranch dressing.
  • Other parents might tell the child to eat the peppers, maybe scold her for having spit them out, or find some other way of pressuring the child to eat them instead of spitting them out.
  • Others won’t try giving the child peppers again, worried only about getting something down the hatch, and will look for other foods the child is sure to eat.

But our problems, and our children’s, are likely to…

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11 Ways to Raise a Picky Eater

Oct 22, 2010 by

1.  Don’t expect kids to enjoy health-giving, real foods.

2.  Feed them kid food: specially manufactured edibles designed for kids–baby food in a jar or packaged finger foods made for children, instead of real, whole foods. It’s easy, and, like cat food, the flavors are technologically designed to be accepted by kids.  Children are sure to eat them. Also, those edibles get babies used to artificial flavors and sugar early and increases their changes of rejecting real food.

3.  Make one meal for the adults and another for children, because kids don’t like what adults will eat. Stick to the foods kids are generally known to eat, like chicken nuggets, hotdogs, pizza and french fries.

4.  Give children rewards for eating.

5.  Micromanage their eating. If they want more meat, make…

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Push or Pull? When picky kids pick your dinner to pieces

Oct 5, 2010 by

This question came recently from a reader, Rosie Kate:

“How do you deal (or not deal) with a child who picks through food for ingredients he doesn’t like?  My five-year-old son went through an ‘anti-onion’ phase, in which he complained about bits of onion in his food. I told him to quietly remove them, but not to be rude about it.

Now it’s zucchini (of which we eat lots because we have lots in the garden, of course!). Same rule applies, but it kinda bugs me (I’m making sure not to let him know that, though, because then it would be a control game).”

So what would you do?  The normal, intuitive response to this situation is generally to find away to…

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Cold Culture Eating: Why eating at the table together isn’t happening for some American kids, and Seven Tips to Warming Up the Culture at Your Table

Jun 21, 2010 by

A recent “Zits” comic shows Jeremy pointing his cell phone at the steaming dish his mom is holding, while she asks him, “Do you think Pierce would like to stay for dinner?”

We then see Jeremy sending the photo to Pierce, who responds to the photo–and to the invitation–with “EWW!”

“No,” Jeremy replies. “ Pierce hates meatloaf.”

We had a similar experience when my daughter’s friend was hanging around right before dinner one night. To my invitation to join us at the table, her answer was, “What is it?”

She needed a description of all offerings, then decided she could eat one of the three available. So she joined us.

Many times, children have come to our table and thought nothing of openly turning up their little noses at everything that was served. Expressing distaste at what’s been served is clearly…

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