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How Do I Get My Picky Eater to Eat Vegetables?

Does your kid avoid anything green? All veggies? Picky eating is a struggle for many families and vegetables are definitely one of the most challenging foods for young kids to enjoy. They naturally tend to prefer sweet foods - or quick, easy energy sources. So it's common for children to enjoy fruit, but shun more bitter vegetables. The good news is that fruit and veggies contain many of the same nutrients! Your child can find folate, vitamin C and fibre in both fruit and vegetables, so you can relax a bit.

One common tactic I want to chat about is sneaking pureed vegetables into your children's food.  I don't recommend this, as it does not allow your child  to experience that particular food and learn to like (or dislike!) it on their own. And at some point, they will also probably figure you out - possibly leading to distrust,  a stronger dislike of the offending food and power struggles.

It's also not aligned with the "Division of Responsibility" principles, which...

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How the division of responsibility worked for my picky eater

*This is a guest post from Sarah, a fellow dietitian & mom of three I requested Sarah share her story with you, as she has been through the experience of raising a very selective eater. Following The Division of Responsibility in Feeding, Sarah's son has finally has made it past the pickiest stage. I have many clients who are hesitant to believe that this method can really work. Well Felix is proof that patience pays off!!*

"I first became interested in pediatric nutrition after my first year of university. I had a job at the local community health unit, working for the community nutritionist as a summer student. She encouraged me to read all of Ellyn Satter’s books on child feeding. This was my introduction to the feeding relationship.   Ms. Satter defines the roles of parents and children in feeding and her 30+ years of research show how trying to do your child’s job with feeding or letting them do your job can lead to a dysfunctional feeding...

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Help for your picky eater

Click image to see Jen talk about Picky Eating on Global

Creating stress-free mealtimes, even with picky eaters!

Feeding struggles are common, making dinnertime full of stress, fights and tears. It is understandable that  you are concerned if your kid refuses to eat multiple meals in a row, or never wants to try a new food. So you enforce a “3 bite rule,” don’t offer dessert if dinner wasn’t consumed, and bring out said refused dinner for bedtime snack. Or try sneaking vegetables into your child's food. And not only does your child now seem to be eating less than ever, but there are tears. Fights. Tantrums…. on the part of both the parent and the child. And then you read that rules such as these can negatively affect your child’s eating practices for life! Possibly leading to not only an even pickier eater, but an unhealthy relationship with food  and the potential for disordered eating or weight issues as an adult.

So you stopped the...

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How to Get Kids to Eat Vegetables

As a dietitian working with parents of young children, one of the most frequently asked questions is: "How to get my kids to eat their veggies?" Should you bribe them with dessert? Reward them with praise? Hide the veggies in other foods?

Watch the video below, or read on to find out!

To answer this question, I wanted to share a study that looked at whether kids ate more veggies if you rewarded them. This took place in Belgium and the researchers looked at 98 preschool aged children. they gave the kids a variety of veggies and found out the least-liked veggie was chicory (a really bitter tasting vegetable). So the authors used chicory as the study vegetable.

Twice a week, the preschool children were offered a bowl of steamed chicory. The kids were  split them into three groups:

1) The first group was simply offered the vegetable.

2) The second group was offered the vegetable, along with the promise of a reward (a toy or a sticker) if they ate the chicory

3) The third...

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Protein for kids

Disclosure: I am happy to bring you this sponsored post today, thanks to Alberta Milk. All thoughts are my own.

Are you worried that your child doesn’t get enough protein? If you’re the parent of a young child, this is a common concern. Especially if you have a selective eater with a small appetite (which is most toddlers & preschoolers!).

In this blog, I’ll discuss why your child needs protein, how much they need, where to get it and share a protein-rich breakfast recipe.

Why is protein important?

Protein is the building block of the entire body. Muscles, organs and the immune system all need protein.

It also helps to keep us feeling full, so it’s good to offer protein at each meal and snack.

How much protein does my child need?

To figure out how much protein your child needs, take their weight in pounds and divide by two. For example, a 40 pound child needs about 20 grams of protein per day.

For children of average weight, this works out to about...

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What to do when your child doesn't eat dinner

Disclosure: I am happy to bring you this sponsored post today, thanks to Alberta Milk. All thoughts are my own!

"What should I do if my child doesn't eat dinner?" As a dietitian working with young families, this is a very common question.

Should you be worried that your child isn't eating enough? Bribe him with dessert, so he finishes dinner? And should you still give her a bedtime snack if  she doesn't eat dinner? I'll answer all of those questions for you here!

Why don't kids eat dinner?

First of all, know that you're not alone if your child often doesn't eat dinner. Dinner is the most challenging meal of the day for most young children, for a few reasons:

  • They're tired by the end of the day.
  • Your child is excited to be home after daycare or school. Or because mom or dad are home from work!
  • Your child is not hungry, because they're full of snacks.
  • Or maybe they're not hungry because they have eaten enough during breakfast and lunch for their little body!

Appetite goes...

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