Gilbert PT - February 2019

3 Tips to Prevent Raising a Picky Eater

Full Relief of Symptoms! “I was struggling with a new and acute onset of neck pain with symptoms radiating down my shoulder, arm, and hand and fingers. I was in a great deal of pain and struggling to find relief for daily activities, work, and life. I decided to try physical therapy to find relief and healing so that I could get back to sleeping well, taking care of my family, and doing my job as a nurse without pain. PT was wonderful. I greatly appreciate the care and treatment plan provided. The staff was wonderful, kind, friendly, and encouraging — not to mention very professional and capable. I have appreciated all the care going into my recovery, which has been full relief of symptoms and tools to use at home. I am very thankful and would recommend Gilbert PT for a great experience from start to finish.” –Melissa B. 2. Avoid turning vegetables into chores. You might think that offering your child a reward in return for finishing their green beans is a good way to make sure your child gets their nutrients, but it causes more problems than it’s worth. It just reinforces your child’s perception that the green beans are the “bad” food they have to choke down before getting to the good stuff. 3. Make a variety of dishes. The more monotonous your nightly menu is, the fewer new foods your child will be exposed to, and the harder it will become to introduce healthy newcomers to the table. If your kids like green beans, great, but don’t start serving green beans with every meal just because you know those are the only veggies they’ll eat. Keep it varied and fun, and your kid’s palate will follow. You shouldn’t force your kid to eat food they don’t want to eat, but you shouldn’t cater too closely to their fussy habits either. Present them with a wide variety of the healthy options you want them to eat, and let them discover the joys of taste and texture as they grow.

When you’re trying to feed your child, keep them healthy, and prevent them from becoming one of those weird adults with the stunted palate of a 2-year-old, it may feel like you’re faced with an uphill climb. Research shows that fussy eating may be as linked to genetics as it is to upbringing, not to mention the tangle of other psychosocial factors that can fuel a child’s inscrutable food preferences. That said, there are ways to help your child foster a healthy relationship with food and encourage them to be adventurous eaters. 1. Keep your expectations in check. When a child first encounters a new food, they’re going to give it the side-eye. That’s natural. In fact, according to a 2003 study, it may take as many as 12 “exposures” to a new food for it to become familiar, much less something they want to eat. If you put too much pressure on them to eat every last bit of the new food, that particular food won’t fare well in their memories and you’ll have to fight those negative associations from then on. Instead, talk about the new food as you’re preparing it, involve your child in the preparation, and have them check it out on their own terms. Normalizing those Brussels sprouts is half the battle.

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