End Picky Children Food BattlesHeConnection-Health-e-Tips-End Picky Children Food Battles

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How to End Picky Children Food Battles: How many times have you heard, “I’m not gonna eat that. It’s gross!” Maybe your kids are a bit more polite about it, but nevertheless, there are a lot of children who declare war at the dinner table when they are told to eat food they don’t like. Too often, anxious parents give in and allow their kids to eat what they want, thinking anything is better than nothing. The sad thing is, the picky eater probably wouldn’t make poor food choices if a truly healthy diet filled with vegetables and fruits had always been the only fare offered.

If you are a parent of a very young child, it is important to know that children’s taste buds change, both when they are older and during their younger years. Tastes and textures as well as the appearance of foods will determine their reaction. But if you feed your kids junk food or allow them to eat the standard fare at school or daycare, it will affect their food preferences.

Power struggles with kids over food is a battle you will lose–one way or the other. Ultimately, they decide what goes in their mouth. If you want to end the battles, you have to make a commitment to go all the way. Stop fighting about food and totally stop feeding them anything but the best nutrient dense foods.

How to end food battles

Step one: clean house. Toss out the processed food, the junk food. Get rid of all foods with artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, GMOs, MSG, trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, and conventional sugar.

Let your kids know that this is a decision you are making for the whole family, that you want to improve your own heath. Remember, we model behavior to our children.

Step two: sock up on healthy foods. Get high quality, fresh food that tastes good. Make a list of all the healthy foods your child does eat. Initially, include as many of these foods in your menus as possible. Stick to your resolve. No unhealthy snacks! If they never finished their lunch, give them dinner as planned. No arguments. No battles. If they eat their meal, offer them a healthy snack a few hours later, like fresh fruit.

If there are foods your child truly hates, respect their tastes and don’t try to force the issue. We implement a 1-bite rule. This simply means that everybody is obligated to eat at least one bite of whatever we prepare. If they don’t like it and don’t want to eat it, they can skip it and wait for the next scheduled meal. Over time this works to acclimate your picky eater to new, healthy foods as their tastes buds change.

Involve your children in planning the weekly menu and in food preparation. If you raise food in the garden, give them their own row to plant. When kids get involved, they are much more likely to appreciate their food. If you can, grow your own food with your children!

H-e-S-Targeting-Success-End Picky Children Food BattlesHealth-e-Solutions comment

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