How to Prevent Picky Eating from Ever Starting, Part I

Dec 14, 2011 by

“I don’t know what we did wrong with her,” my friend sheepishly told me, as she gave me my babysitting instructions and warnings about exactly what picky-eater actions her kids were going to take with the food planned for their lunch.

Kaylee was the little girl that used to eat everything. Her parents had been so proud that she ate everything.  At that earlier time, I had unconsciously thought, “Of course she eats everything. That’s normal. What do you expect?”

Maybe they were anticipating picky eating. That they seemed pleasantly surprised when their child wasn’t picky led me to think that they assumed it was normal for kids to become picky….

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Solution for Picky Eaters: PediaSure, Why Not?

Nov 9, 2011 by

I just learned of the existence of PediaSure. Apparently it’s been around for at least ten years, but I just discovered it, seeing one of its commercials for the first time. I’m chagrined, but shouldn’t be surprised, to learn that such a thing exists.

There may be some justifiable use of this product, though it’s hard for me to imagine any. For a child who is physically or mentally ill or has genuine, physical sensory problems, I’ll suspend judgment for now.

If it’s for the typical picky child, though, PediaSure is a “solution” that offers false security while aggravating the problem of pickiness in a child. It’s a child’s solution to the problem, not a wiser parent’s solution.

PediaSure will resolve the root problems of pickiness about as well as giving in to a terrorist’s demands or giving a child the candy bar he’s throwing…

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How Much Do You Care about Your Kids' Eating? How Much is Too Much?

Oct 24, 2011 by

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In the mid-90s TV show My So-Called Life, a baby-faced Claire Danes plays Angela Chase, an emo teenager.

About four minutes into the pilot episode, the scene opens with Angela’s sigh, and an arial view of her plate of peas with mashed potatoes and gravy and meatloaf being pushed around by her fork.

“I cannot bring myself to eat a well balanced meal in front of my  mother,” says Angela in a voice-over. “It just means too much to her,”.

An old Zits comic strip uses the identical statement to illustrate the same kid attitude.

Jeremy is earnestly confiding in his best friend, Hector, how he…

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‘Duty Made Lovely’: How to Train a Child’s Appetite

Oct 21, 2011 by

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L’appetit est la conscience du corps (The appetite is the conscience of the body).

— Alexandre Dumas, author of The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo.

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When my children were about six and eight, we listened to the original Pollyanna story on tape. Unlike the caricature of Pollyanna as a ridiculously blind optimist, we found the real Pollyanna to be charming and delightful. I was surprised and pleased to find that she managed to inspire us and stir our hearts by her sweetness. “We can be glad of that!” she would say. We still quote her, 14 years later. We all loved Pollyanna and her story.

Pollyanna and many other literary or real-life heroes are perfect examples of what educational reformer Charlotte Mason (1846-1923) called “duty…

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Foundations of Appetite Training: 12 Ways children learn to like or dislike healthy eating

Oct 18, 2011 by

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“L’appetit est la conscience du corps” (The appetite is the conscience of the body).

— Alexandre Dumas, author of The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo

Marissa and Jeremy were each born with an appetite — thank goodness! How else would we get babies to eat and thereby stay alive? Each baby cried for milk every few hours and latched on eagerly anytime they got something in their mouths, especially if it turned out to involve milk. They each certainly had a taste for what’s good for them. Each baby thrived.

As Marissa got older, she kept wanting the foods that were good for her. She would eat vegetables, fruit, fish, anything that came her way.

Jeremy, however, though he also kept getting hungry, developed the taste for french fries…

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