Top food "mistakes" parents make

Filed under: Toddlers Preschoolers, Preschoolers, Big Kids, Tweens, Nutrition: Health, Mealtime

Getting your child to eat healthfully can be harder than a 48-hour labor. Much of the time, where picky eaters come from is unknown, although it seems able to start at an early age and set in for the duration of childhood if we're not careful. For most parents, we're terrified of the growing obesity epidemic and our children possibly becoming a part of it and we're equally concerned about our children getting proper nutrition.

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So, what to do? Well, a new section of the New York Times, dedicated to health issues, has a few suggestions. The first is to keep kids in the kitchen and get them involved in food preparation. Making kids aware of all the different kinds of food out there, moreso than just getting them to eat SOMETHING, is key, and being in the kitchen gives them, at least in part, that awareness. Another suggestion is to encourage children to try a bite of everything that's served. It was noted that coercing them into eating foods or bribing them into doing it doesn't really work. Many of you have noted that as well. And hiding or restricting the goodies? Well, that just makes kids want them more. We all know how that feels--adults who deprive themselves of the things they enjoy while dieting usually end up sneaking the foods or possibly overdosing on them.

Depending on the age of your child, some of these techniques may or may not work. I can agree with offering the variety approach though, regardless of your child's age. That seems to be the kindest, smartest way to get a kid to at least try something. I also eat whatever it is I serve my child, and make a big deal out of how yummy it is. Then, he inevitably at least wants to try what I have. He may not like it, but at least he sampled--and that's better than the period during which he attempted to sustain himself entirely on Cheerios.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.