Researchers, from the Duke Center for Eating Disorders, surveyed adults who were, and continue to be, finicky eaters; and they’ve found that, rather than forcing a child to eat foods they don’t like, parents will probably make more headway by embracing a non-confrontational approach at mealtime.
About 40-percent of respondents said that their attitude toward food was somewhat improved, as children, when their parents chose positive, encouraging and engaging tactics related to food. This would include framing meals in the context of cultural or nutritional learning, engaging the child in meal preparation, or focusing attention on particular food groups, and always offering children “safe” food options, which didn’t pose a perceived threat.
Study author Nancy Zucker notes that parents also seemed to make progress by “exposing children to novel cuisines, or experimenting with ways to hide the taste of food– with the child’s knowledge– as baby steps to make the food more approachable.”
Plus, about 40-percent of respondents said that ensuring mealtime has a consistent structure made them feel that they were asked or encouraged to eat something, rather than forced.
Taste for a little more? Serve it up, here: (UPI)
- A survey of adults who were, and continue to be, finicky eaters finds that parents will generally do better with their picky-eater kids if they don’t force them to eat foods, and take other steps to make mealtime positive, encouraging, and engaging