How do you get your child not to be a picky eater?
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Kendra - posted on 09/27/2010
thanks for the helpful ideas its just we sit down and eat as a family and have tried all of the other stuff but all my son wants to eat is peanut butter sandwiches and chicken nuggets he wont eat any veggies at all
Julie - posted on 09/27/2010
While my son was being evaluated for an oral aversion issue he had, one of the therapists gave us the following "Food Rules" and explained that many eating problems are behavioral in children. In the interest of NOT having behavioral issues, she gave us a handout that read as follows:
THE FOOD RULES
(to promote a pleasant, healthy mealtime environment)
1) Meals will be at regularly scheduled times; only planned snacks should be given.
2) Nothing between meals will be offered, including bottles, milk, or juices. The child may drink water if thirsty.
3) Solids will be offered first fluids last.
4) Meals will last no longer than 30 minutes.
5) Child will be encouraged to self-feed as much as possible (i.e., finger feed, hold spoon, etc).
6) A sheet under the high chair will “catch the mess”. Wipe the child’s mouth and clean up only after the meal is over.
7) The child should learn to eat without approval or disapproval. Do not force food or comment on the child’s intake. Mealtime should be in a neutral atmosphere.
8) Food should not be given as a present or reward.
9) No game playing at mealtime. Do not use games to feed the child.
10) Food should be moved after 10-15 minutes if the child seems to play with the food without eating.
11) Meal should be terminated if the child throws food in anger.
As a side note, my son's speech therapist also remarked to me that he has seen several kids that will not eat well unless the rules are followed to a "T", but that some can be loosened for some kids. For example, for a while it would take my son 20 minutes to start eating and I didn't want to take food away from him while he was eating well, so I'd let him have his plate for longer than 30 minutes.
Anyhow, I hope this helps. I know it makes our mealtime much less stressful than many I've seen.
Louise - posted on 09/27/2010
Really simple as soon as your child is on solids properly then eat as a family. A child will eat what you are eatting and enjoy the experience of sitting to a table to socialise. All three of our children have grown up eatting together at night and we have never had a problem. If they see you eat it, it must be ok. Don't make a fuss of food put it on their plate and ignore the fact they are picking at it and then they will eat it.