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Picky Eaters: Feed Your Child Without a Fight

From the Show: Healthy Children
Summary: Is your picky eater driving you crazy? Learn how to develop good eating habits and work through the selective eating without another fight.
Air Date: 2/28/17
Duration: 19:50
Host: Melanie Cole, MS
Guest Bio: Natalie Muth, MD
Dr. Natalie MuthNatalie Digate Muth, MD, MPH, RDN, FAAP, is a dual board-certified pediatrician and obesity medicine physician and registered dietitian. She practices general pediatrics and obesity medicine in San Diego County.

She also serves as the Senior Advisor for Healthcare Solutions for the American Council on Exercise and is on the executive committee of the AAP Section on Obesity.

She is co-author of The Picky Eater Project: 6 Weeks to Happier, Healthier Family Mealtimes published by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Picky Eaters: Feed Your Child Without a Fight
Do you have a picky eater?

Pickiness and selective eating are fairly common. They develop around age two. The duration of the habit depends on the parental response.

You can’t control everything that goes into your child’s mouth, but you can control your approach to mealtimes.

  1. Be a good role model. Your behavior will influence how your child responds to foods. Siblings are very influential.
  2. Serve one meal for the entire family. Establish this is what’s for dinner, and do not make something else for you picky child. You aren’t a restaurant. Let your child determine from the dinner available what he’s going to eat and how much.
  3. Involve your child in the process. Let your child help shop for meal components and assist in the preparation. Make sure every meal includes at least one item your child likes.
  4. A hungry child will eat. If you want your child to eat more veggies, put out a veggie tray after school. Introduce foods you really want him to eat when you know he’s hungry.
Forcing a child to eat something creates a negative reaction. You’re establishing good eating habits for life. Some foods take 15 exposures for an appreciation of that food to land.

To encourage healthy eating at home, you can develop good eating habits. Reduce the junk food in your house and have plenty of healthy foods available. Let your child experiment with cooking under adult supervision. Sneaking healthy foods into favorite foods doesn’t foster smart eating choices and can damage your child’s trust.

Listen as Dr. Natalie Muth joins Melanie Cole, MS, to get your picky eater to expand his horizons. Visit Healthy Children for recipe ideas.

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