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The Making of a Healthy Eater - Winning the Finicky Eater Battle

by James M. Thomas, Diane K. Pfeil, and Fernando A. Guerra
May/June 1997
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/the-making-of-a-healthy-eater-winning-the-finicky-eater-battle/5011544/

Perhaps no single factor influences a child's health and lifelong well-being more than food patterns established early in life. Contrary to many parents' assumptions, children are not by nature finicky eaters. On the contrary, childhood is characterized by exploration; and children are naturally curious about foods, their textures, shapes, colors, and flavors. Parents too often create finicky eaters by conveying their own likes and dislikes to their children through words and actions.

The Basics, A Child's Role

Remember, a child is not an adult dressed in kids' clothing. His role in developing into a healthy eater is being himself and exploring the world around him. Specifically, he needs to focus on the task at hand - eating. Sometimes this can be difficult if his eating environment is filled with too many distractions. Below is a list of other factors to consider when feeding preschoolers:

_ Children will often play with food and anything else nearby because play is an important means of learning. If playing at mealtime becomes excessive, you may need to consider making adjustments, such as eating meals only at the dinner table, turning off the television, or perhaps playing music familiar to your child - visual distractions are often as problematic ...

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