Are you a picky eater

Picky eaters: do not force and involve them in meal preparation


Whether children are picky about food can be seen early in preschool age. American researchers have now found that coercion has little success with these children and even has the opposite effect, since what is countered under pressure is negatively proven. According to the researchers, it is better to involve the children in the provision and selection of food according to their age and to offer “healthy” food freely available on the table outside of meals.

“The children who often turn up their noses while eating can be seen at the age of 4. Children usually retain this characteristic up to the age of 9. Parents should try to be calm and not be coercive. The current study shows that these children generally do not suffer from malnutrition or other negative consequences and even have the advantage of being less prone to overweight compared to children who like to eat almost anything. If children can help with the selection - in a healthy and age-appropriate framework - and preparation, this can reduce their negative attitude, ”advises Dr. Monika Niehaus, pediatrician and member of the expert committee of the professional association of paediatricians (BVKJ). For example, three- to five-year-olds can brush bread, vegetables and other foods with oil with a brush or cut soft fruits or vegetables with a plastic knife. Six to seven year olds can, among other things, break an egg and use a paring knife. Eight- to nine-year-olds can, for example, stir eggs and weigh and mix dry ingredients. Ten to twelve year olds can usually carry out a simple recipe step-by-step and cut vegetables into slices and chop herbs.

The experts also conclude that fussy eating appears to be a strongly pronounced trait that is often linked to the child's emotional lability and less emotional regulation of the child, meaning that these children are more prone to mood swings and are less able to control their emotions . “The message of this study is also that this is a trait that some children never lose completely and that parents can only weaken this characteristic a little. Among other things, if they set a good example, because children learn from role models - and that also applies to eating, ”adds Dr. Never house.

Sources: Pediatrics, Healthline,
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