March 8, 2012
- Macaroni Kid...Who Knew?
- Arts in the Plaza
- Cookies for Troops
- But You Loved Apples Last Week!
- Macaroni Spotlight: Your Story HERE!
- This Week's Picks
- This Week's Calendar
- Teen Scene
- Plan Ahead
- Healthy Macaroni Kids: Ants on a Log
- Macaroni Made: "Food for Thought" Craft
- Macaroni Movies: Mirror Mirror
- Calling All Summer Programs!
Understanding Your Child's Picky Eating Behavior
Many parents can easily get frustrated with their children’s attitude towards food- one week they enjoy eating apples & grapes- the next week they won’t touch them!
These frustrating behaviors are actually quite normal- parents, you are not alone! Children around the preschool years of life are learning new behaviors and are trying to express their own autonomy from everyone else. It is simply another step in the process of growing up and becoming independent. After the rapid growth in the first year, children’s metabolism starts to slow down and sometimes they are simply just not hungry. Add to that other things like trying to “do it on my own” and new taste and textures of food may be frightening for them.
As long as your child is healthy, has plenty of energy and is growing normally as suggested by a medical doctor, he or she is most likely getting their normal nutrition needs. Studies actually suggest that children have an inborn ability to regulate their calorie and nutrition needs, so when your child is hungry or suggests a certain food choice, let them have it as long as it is healthy. All in all, if you are concerned that your child's picky eating has lasted for a long time or is very restrictive, speak with your child's doctor.
Here are some useful tips which could help improve your child’s interest in eating and help you get some variety into his or her diet:
- Provide your child with comfortable conditions. Include child size cups, plates and utensils to allow for a more independent environment for your child.
- Take away a noisy environment. Toddlers are easily distracted by almost anything, including television, music, phone calls and loud conversations.
- Serve up a dish that includes a variety of colors, shapes and textures. Children eat first with their eyes; try cookie cutters to make fun shapes for your child- star pineapples and round melon shapes which can be easily held by your child.
- Introduce new foods many times, and in different cooking techniques to see if your child accepts these types of foods when prepared differently- try raw, steamed or grilled. Don’t mix foods or combine together. Research has suggested that children need to be introduced to new foods at least 10-15 times before acceptance of a food choice, so give it time before you try shoving another spoonful of carrots onto your child’s plate!
- Always offer choices on foods, don’t push your child to eat what they don’t want.
- Let your child help you prepare foods in the kitchen! Little chefs are more apt to try new foods when they helped to make it. Try this easy "ants on a log" snack recipe with your child. Make this moment even better by having your child help you create a story about how the ants are traveling on the log. This activity not only helps spark creativity but also builds communication and motor skills as well.
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