(NaturalNews) Duke University is currently conducting a survey titled, "Finding Foods Fearful: A Study of Children and Adolescents with a Fear of Trying New Foods." In an attempt to "develop new treatments, help parents feel less blamed, and learn more about the development of taste preference," researchers are encouraging parents to participate if they think their child has a fear of trying new foods or has such a limited diet that it "gets in his or her way."
In the survey, Duke University is asking parents some of the following questions:
• Does your child's eating selection get in the way of being able to attend parties or sleepovers? • Has your child's eating habits made you feel insecure about your parenting abilities? • Do you worry about your child's health because of his or her eating?
The underlying tone in this approach is the presupposition that "picky eaters" have some sort of eating disorder that needs be treated and/or managed by a health care professional. If this tread continues, we'll see more children targeted for psychological or pharmaceutical therapy.
Selective Eating Disorder
According to psychologists, children who are picky eaters are diagnosed with having a Selective Eating Disorder (SED) - also known as Perseverative Feeding Disorder or food neophobia, SED is defined as "eating an extremely limited range of foods that may include avoidance of unfamiliar foods or rejection of foods based on sensory characteristics, causing significant anxiety in eating-related situations." In theory, these children have obsessive-compulsive characteristics and it is suspected that they can even suffer from depression and other psychological concerns due to their disorder alienating them at school lunches or social gatherings. If untreated, picky eaters are thought to be at risk to develop significant eating disorders when they become adults.
The most common type of treatment for SED is some form of cognitive-behavioral therapy. It has been proposed that working with a trained therapist can help to change behaviors and eliminate symptoms more quickly than without treatment.
Recognizing that kids are kids, and not miniature adults, it is important to remember that children go through various phases and seasons in their lives. This is particularly true of eating habits. Give your kids some time to grow out of picky eating behaviors and, more importantly, be creative with the foods that you feed them.
Gluten-free chocolate super green pancakes
This recipe has the consistency of a gooey brownie. It can be made on the fly when time you need something quick for lunch or dinner. Top it off with some strawberries, blueberries, and bananas for a healthy treat!
1/2 cup almond flour 1/2 cup coconut flour 1/4 cup rice flour 1/4 cup potato starch 1/4 cup super green powder (any brand will do - we mix our own) 1/4 cup ground flax seed 1 t stevia powder 3/4 cup cocoa powder 1 t Himalayan sea salt 1 t pumpkin pie spice 1 T egg replacer
Beat eggs and mix wet and dry ingredients in separate containers. Combine ingredients and pan fry in coconut oil. Make sure there is enough coconut oil to cover the entire pan.
Sources for this article include:
Lask B. Anorexia Nervosa and Related Eating Disorders in Childhood and Adolescence: Prognosis and outcome. Taylor & Francis, 2000.
Nicholls D, Bryant-Waugh R. Eating disorders of infancy and childhood: definition, symptomatology, epidemiology, and comorbidity. Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 2009 Jan;18(1):17-30. doi: 10.1016/j.chc.2008.07.008.
About the author: Journalist, medical researcher, speaker, and life coach, Eric L. Zielinski has been writing prolifically since 1998. Formerly trained as primary care provider and peer-review researcher, he has published an eclectic selection of health content for several print and online publications. Zielinski earned his Bachelor of Arts in English from Wayne State University in 2002 and is currently wrapping up his Doctorate of Chiropractic at Life University along with a Masters of Public Health at Emory University. Visit his blog. Track his work on facebook. Read Eric's other naturalnews.com articles.
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