Is your child difficult at the table? Experts’ solutions


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A new study conducted by researchers and published on August 27, provides a better understanding of why some children are “picky eaters”. Valuable tips are also shared to help demanding little eaters and their parents.

Getting a whole child to eat can be easy, or it can be extremely difficult. And for good reason, some children are considered “picky eaters”. They refuse to taste foods that they do not know, and / or they make “whims” if such a product is not prepared in a certain way. In general, in these cases, the choice of dishes is quickly limited, for parents it is a real headache and by force, it makes meals particularly stressful. But why can they be so picky with food? This is what researchers at the University of South Australia and the University of Queensland have tried to understand after reviewing 80 works on the subject. According to them, being a picky eater “Is part of the standard for toddlers developing to toddlers, but when it extends into the school years, it has consequences for everyone involved, children and parents”.

Read also : My child is not hungry in the morning: 5 tips to whet his appetite

Factors influence children’s eating behaviors

In their study, published on August 27 in the journal International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (follow link), the researchers highlighted a series of factors that would impact the urge to eat in children under 10 years old. Indeed, the fact of rushing a child to eat, offering him rewards after finishing his plate or being a strict and stressed parent has a negative influence on them. This would help them to become picky with food. Moreover, according to experts other “internal” factors can sometimes be taken into account, such as the child’s personality and his sensitivity to the taste, texture and smell of food. But this is not inevitable. There are little techniques to help your child eat more easily and to taste new foods.

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Advice from the experts

For Prof. Laine Chilman, who participated in this study: “A positive education, however difficult it may be in certain situations, is the best way to help ‘picky eaters’ children” did he declare. The team of scientists has also compiled a list of tips for parents. The first sets the tone: above all, we must set an example for these cherubim, “a family eating together has better eating habits ”. Therefore, it is also recommended to plan regular meal times, always with the family, to reduce the level of ambient stress.
Involve the child in the preparation of meals can also help him to be familiar with the cooking, the various ingredients and that he has this feeling of control. Then once at the table, the television should be banned meals, so that everyone can enjoy the present moment, savor their meal, without being distracted by the screens. Finally, it goes without saying but forget the rewards and punishments if your child is trying to eat.

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