Often, the struggle at dinnertime with your picky eater is not
so much about food as it is about control. As children become
more independent, conflicts can arise as they carefully
scrutinize what goes into their mouths. The more you push, the
more they resist with the outcome resulting in tears and
During one of these scenarios, it is not surprising to see picky
eater dissolve into hysterics when faced with a tiny lima bean
or hear unpleasant gagging sounds after your seven-year-old
sniffs the aromatic lemon sauce poured over the baked fish.
Then, as the parents become upset, blowing things out of
proportion, generally things become worse.
Instead, you will need to learn on finding a common ground with
your picky eater, one by which you all can live. Try to
remember that not all battles are worth fighting. Therefore,
you will need to decide which ones are the most important in
your house. Hopefully, food will not be one of them because it
could potentially turn the pleasure of eating into a control
issue that can last a lifetime.
Your primary concerns should be whether your picky eater child
is getting the requisite amount of calories he or she needs to
grow, and if he or she has a proper balance of nutrients to
remain healthy. The answer is most likely "yes." Even if your
picky eater child were on a macaroni and cheese kick for the
next two weeks, protein, dairy, and other vitamins are still
included in the diet.
Be realistic in your expectations. Children (not just picky
eater children) up to age ten still use their fingers quite a
lot in ways that adults don't, like pushing peas onto a spoon
and picking up pieces of meat. They still have some trouble
chewing and swallowing tough or dry or fibrous foods, like steak
or chops. Part of the problem might be that they don't have the
jaw strength to chew up the meat.
Another part is that up until about age eight their swallow is
immature. They swallow with their cheeks, as if they were
suckling from a straw, not using their tongue like you or I do.
Children this age still have a limited number of foods they
readily accept. Do not despair. The number of accepted foods
will gradually increase, as they get older. The numbers will
increase -- that is, provided you don't make a big issue about
it. Often times making a big deal can cause and decrease in
food acceptance rather then an increase.
To learn more about picky eater children and get some quick and
easy picky eater recipes visit http://www.mypickyeater.com
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