This was a nice little summary of things to NOT do. Believe it or not, the article starts out telling us about a child who was on a "chocolate diet". Okay that is an extreme example and I think most parents have enough good sense to know "you just gotta say NO". Can't eat only chocolate or whatever their one favorite thing is. Variety is key to getting in all those nutrients to ensure a healthy child.
Here goes, according to this article, (drumroll please):
The TOP SIX MISTAKES PARENTS MAKE:
Sending children out of the kitchen. - okay, boiling water and frying pans and knives and lots of things to be careful of. But I have talked about this....kids can learn a lot by staying in the kitchen and being part of meal preparation.
Pressuring them to take a bite - pressuring them to just try food when they don't want to can backfire. Your child can start to associate negative connotations with that food and then really dig their heels in. Just keep exposing it in different ways, try different recipes and be patient. They may start to get curious and suddenly want to try it. According one study cited, you should just be nuetral and for sure, don't bribe them.
Keeping "good stuff" out of reach- we try to hide the cookies, find special out of reach shelves for the candy. But somehow those little rascals always seem to know where the candy or goodies are. Studies suggest that keeping them out of reach only peaks their desire so when they do get their hands on it, they eat a lot more. Okay, the solution, don't buy foods you really don't want your child to eat. It creates more temptation and growing interest. Buy healthy snacks for the house
Dieting in front of your children- well, I know this can be a hard one for those parents who are trying to lose weight. But children are learning all about foods from you. You may be surprised what habits and ideas they are forming watching you. Restrictive diets usually don't work and can lead to binge eating.
Serving boring vegetables- Jazz those vegetables up with a little dressing, dips, even a little butter. Help them entice your child to want more. It starts with how they look and then of course how they taste. There are a lot of great recipes and mixing vegetables in some other foods is also a great way to introduce new vegetables.
Giving up too soon- yeah it can be frustrating when they don't eat the foods you prepare. But your picky eater may need the 15 rule: "putting a food on the table at least 15 times to see if a child will accept it. Once a food is accepted, parents should use food bridges, finding similarly colored or flavored foods to expand the variety of foods a child will eat. If a child likes pumpkin pie, for instance, try mashed sweet potatoes and then mashed carrots. If a child loves corn, try mixing in a few peas or carrots. Even if a child picks them out, the exposure to the new food is what counts."
Good luck. Your mission may be a challenging one but for sure... but, a healthy child is sooo worth it!