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…one of the bonding rituals without which the family, society even, can fall apart.

… even those for whom cooking is an oppressive chore or a source of self-doubting anxiety, acknowledge that a meal shared by friends and family is one of the bonding rituals without which the family, society even, can fall apart.

Antonia Till

Family dinner

Feeding Your Picky Eater

Picky eater

I sometimes wonder how some children manage to get enough energy to keep them going and going and going. If your youngster is one of the many who pick and choose the foods they like most, he or she may often get on food jags, eating the same foods for all meals or even refusing food altogether. In my house this week, my 3-year-old is refusing to eat anything but peaches and bread! But I’m not too worried about this new phase; experts suggest it’s normal and may not last too long. In fact, in most cases like this, children are getting all the nutrients they need despite their limited intake.

As children grow, their needs start to change. The rapid growth they experienced in the first couple of years of life starts to slow and they require less food. Between birth and age 2, babies will as much as quadruple their weight, but then they will gain only a few pounds a year between the ages of 2 and 5.
Toddlers and preschoolers are asserting their new-found control when they play with toys instead of sitting at a table, or eat only the same foods meal after meal. It’s OK to allow your child to assert a certain level of independence.

Still, there are ways you can keep your child’s nutrition on track. Remember to avoid offering snacks too close to mealtimes. (There really was some merit in your mom’s telling you this would ruin your appetite!) And don’t allow your child to fill up on juice and milk at mealtime. One way to achieve this is to limit fluids offered at the table until after the meal has been eaten.

If you are concerned that your child’s menu is too limited, keep in mind that you are his or her role model. If you don’t eat green vegetables, it’s likely that your child won’t eat them either. Lately, I’ve found that my son has developed an interest in what the people around him are eating. During a recent trip to a restaurant he ate the entire serving of broccoli off my plate and has been obsessed with vegetables ever since!

Finally, if you want to introduce new foods to your child, be realistic. It takes many introductions of a new item until it is accepted and familiar. Start by offering only small samples, but make sure that you try repeatedly and don’t give up if it’s refused on your first try.

If you’re also dealing with a picky eater, it’s usually not worth all the battles to get your child to eat what you’ve planned for him or her — and you may find yourself making the same threats your parents made when you were young. I know that in my house we may be trading some vegetables for dessert in the near future.

Author: Cheryl Koch, M.S., R.D. Read the comments and discussion here

Kids Nutrition program

Getting kids to eat healthy can be a struggle sometimes. But, as Kimberly Van Scoy reports, a local program is getting them excited about nutrition.


Kids Nutrition program

The Family Nutrition Book

Family Nutrition: Everything You Need to Know About Feeding Your Children – From Birth through Adolescence (Paperback)
by William Sears (Author)

From the reviews

Organic or regular baby food? White or wheat bread? Yogurt or ice cream? Parents often wonder how best to feed their families

 

the Searses offer the solid advice on breastfeeding, beginning solids, and feeding picky eaters you’d expect. But more than that, they provide a crash course in overall nutrition. You’ll learn how the body works, how to read food labels, what ingredients to look for (and which to avoid), how to trim fat from your diet, what makes up a balanced diet (not just the “food pyramid”), which foods are thought to prevent cancer, and more.

 

It is extremely informative and thorough, while managing to make nutrition very interesting. It is easy to read and understand.

 

The Searses also offer helpful food lists: good fats, best proteins, top 10 complex carbohydrates, and top 12 family foods, to name a few. A wealth of nutrition information is smoothly presented, complete with accessible scientific explanations, behavior modification tips and framed asides The book progresses from an overview of nutrients (water and fiber among them) to an extensive evaluation of food groups, including discussions of vegetarianism, organic foods and decoding packaging labels. Additional sections address weight control and the specific roles various foods play in disease prevention, stamina building, etc. Reference tables and an updated food pyramid will prove indispensable to the reader. You’ll even get favorite Sears family recipes to help you get started on the road to healthy eating. It’s all here, and it’s all mixed with a healthy dose of passion for eating well. So you can show your children–by example–how to stay healthy and feel great.

 

Eat Local Challenge

http://www.eatlocalchallenge.com/
A blog by people “committed to challenging themselves to eat mainly local
food during a specific period of time during the year.” It’s full of news
and stories about the challenges and benefits of the increasingly popular
idea of eating locally grown foods. Search, or browse by categories like
farmer’s markets, dining out, growing your own food, canning and
freezing, etc.