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End food battles with picky children

Picky eaters
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(NaturalNews) How many times have you heard, "I'm not gonna eat that. It's gross!" Maybe your kids are a bit more polite about it, but nevertheless, there are a lot of children who declare war at the dinner table when they are told to eat food they don't like. Too often, anxious parents give in and allow their kids to eat what they want, thinking anything is better than nothing. The sad thing is, the picky eater probably wouldn't make poor food choices if a truly healthy diet filled with vegetable s and fruits had always been the only fare offered.

If you are a parent of a very young child, it is important to know that children's taste buds change, both when they are older and during their younger years. Tastes and textures as well as the appearance of foods will determine their reaction. But if you feed your kids junk food or allow them to eat the standard fare at school or daycare, it will affect their food preferences.

Power struggles with kids over food is a battle you will lose--one way or the other. Ultimately, they decide what goes in their mouth. If you want to end the battles, you have to make a commitment to go all the way. Stop fighting about food and totally stop feeding them anything but the best nutrient dense foods.

How to end food battles

Step one: clean house. Toss out the processed food, the junk food. Get rid of all foods with artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, GMOs, MSG, trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, and conventional sugar. Let your kids know that this is a decision you are making for the whole family, that you want to improve your own heath. Remember, we model behavior to our children.

Step two: sock up on healthy foods. Get high quality, fresh food that tastes good. Make a list of all the healthy foods your child does eat. Initially, include as many of these foods in your menus as possible. Do not argue with your kids when they don't finish their food. Just let them know that you are keeping that meal for them and if they get hungry before the next meal, it's available. Stick to your resolve. No snacks! If they never finished their lunch, give them dinner as planned. No arguments. No battles. If they eat their meal, offer them a healthy snack a few hours later, like fresh fruit.

If there are foods your child truly hates, respect their tastes and don't try to force the issue. ?Leave them off the menu for now and re-introduce them later.

Involve your children in planning the weekly menu and in food preparation. If you raise food in the garden, give them their own row to plant. When kids get involved, they are much more likely to appreciate their food. If you can, grow your won food with your children!

There is a genetic component to food preferences

Twin studies have proven that there is a genetic component to food preferences that is shown through innate preferences to foods, especially for fruits, vegetables, and protein foods. Environment plays a stronger role with starchy foods and snack foods. If there are particular foods your child dislikes,? look for commonalities in these foods. Are they bitter? Spicy? Sweet? (not likely!) If there is a pattern this may well be due to the child's taste buds rather than a stubborn temperament.

Last but not least, don't be afraid to sneak in a little extra nutrition during the transition to healthier eating. A good nutritional powder added to smoothies will give your child the nutrients he or she needs for optimum health. You can sneak it into their smoothies, or make can Make Your Own Nutrition Powder and get the kids to help.




Alison Fildes, Cornelia HM van Jaarsveld, Clare H Llewellyn, Abigail Fisher, Lucy Cooke, and Jane Wardle. Nature and Nurture in Children's Food Preferences. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; Apr2014, Vol. 99 Issue 4, p911-917, 7p, 5

About the author:
Allene Edwards first became interested in alternative medicine and holistic treatment modalities when she successfully used diet therapy to manage her children�s ADHD. Later when she became chronically ill with an auto-immune disease that multiple doctors could not identify, much less cure, she successfully treated both the symptoms and the cause through naturopathic treatment and nutrition. She is the Managing Editor of Organic Lifestyle Magzine and a regular contributor.

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