Again, as I have said before, I can really relate to the difficulty of getting good, healthy foods into my daughter. I spent so much time worrying about how horrible that pizza or mac 'n cheese was for her! It has been a battle for her entire life ( literally; even with the bottle, as she was allergic to every formula but the MOST expensive one )
People haven't tolerated her difficulties well, and judged all of us for the way we handled it. They said, she should "just get over it!" Little did they know...
If you were to ask 100 parents why they think their children are picky
eaters, chances are you would get 90 different answers. Although we know some
children are picky eaters for no apparent reason, most are hard to please when
it comes to food for two reasons – they are naturally fussy about tastes and
textures or they have a learned behavior about food.
If you have a picky eater in your house, you are NOT alone! In fact, this is a very common complaint among parents. In addition to being frustrating, parents also worry that their child is not getting the appropriate nutrients needed for their growing bodies. With picky eaters, you typically see one of two things happening. First, you will find the child who simply has no interest in trying anything unfamiliar and second, you have the child who has no interest in trying foods he or she is familiar with, which is extremely challenging.
The name given to children who refuse to try anything new to eat is “neophobic”.
Interestingly, these children actually tend to have higher levels of anxiety
than other children do. Although the exact reason why these children do not like
trying new foods is unknown, experts believe it has something to do with
personality trait or perhaps just a part of that child’s normal childhood
development. Now, the picker eater is a little different from the neophobic in
that this child is not interested in eating foods that he or she is familiar
with, which is caused more from life experiences.
Sometimes, a child will refuse to eat foods as a way of maintaining some type of control over the parent or situation. The fascinating aspect of this is that numerous studies show that generally, children who are picky eaters do not eat healthy foods and specifically lack vegetables in the diet. The key to working with a picky eater is that parents should never assume they will simply “grow out of it.” While some kids do, not everyone does.
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