Parents hold the key to their children’s future health. Eating habits are learned from parents and  it’s important for parents to model good eating behavior. It all comes down to Quality, Quantity and Timing!

All kids go through picky eating stages, but if you follow my tips, you’ll make it through much easier!

1. Food should be offered only at mealtimes.

Offer meals every three to four hours to make sure the child is hungry when he or she sits down at the table. It’s OK for the child to go hungry until the next meal. Their appetite will soon accommodate the new schedule.

2. Use “liquid meals” sparingly.

These types of meals should only be given when a child is sick and unable to tolerate food. Liquid meals can’t be maintained in the long run and aren’t realistic

3. A child may be using mealtimes to challenge parent’s rules.

Only take dislikes into consideration until a certain point. A preferred food may be offered as a reward for eating something less desirable.

4. Create mealtime variety that will carry good habits into adulthood.

Do this by offering different types of food on a regular basis. Try to make the new items fun to try by adding creative ways to serve it that a child will enjoy.

5. Only offer water between meals and milk at mealtimes.

Bottled juice does not have the same nutritional value as real fruit and should not be given at dinner or snack time.

 

Looking for more information on your child’s health? Check out my new e-book, The Step Up Diet. Featuring healthy family recipes, weekly grocery lists, tips for parents, and more!

About the Author

Dr. Katalenas

Dr. Katalenas is a pediatrician and owner of The Pediatric Center of Round Rock and the author of the book "The Step Up Diet: From Scratch… The Quality, Quantity, and Timing Solution to Childhood Obesity", a guide to healthy cooking and eating for busy families.