Thursday, June 16, 2011

Tips for Managing Picky Eaters!

Mealtime Struggles

Many parents experience the woes of picky eating at some point in their child's development. A child's negative eating behavior can adversely affect the mealtime experience and have a detrimental effect on the child's health and development.
Try these tips:

•When introducing a new food, encourage interaction with the food in a less invasive way by gradually progressing through the following levels: tolerating on the table/plate, touching, smelling, kissing, licking, biting, chewing, and swallowing.

•Introduce an "all done" bowl. Don’t allow your child to leave the table until all of the food on his plate is either ingested or interacted with (pick up, kiss, lick, etc.) and placed into the all done bowl.

•Use a timer or visual schedule to encourage your child to stay at the table for the duration of the meal.

•Ignore any negative mealtime behaviors. This includes verbal protesting, pushing foods away, letting food fall to the floor, etc. Use timeouts when necessary in the event of disruptive mealtime behaviors.

•Continue offering new foods many times, even if the foods were refused in the past. Be patient and persistent.

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