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Food Fight! How Parents Can Handle Picky Eaters

5:16 PM, Oct 11, 2013   |    comments
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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- When you say the words food fight, you may think about kids slinging mashed potatoes. If you're a parent, a food fight is the battle you have with your kid about eating what you're serving for dinner. 

Shannon Koontz, associate editor of Piedmont Parent magazine, joined Tanya Rivera on 2 Wants to Know and said people spend a day talking about dinner table battles.

Koontz said it's a very common problem so you definitely shouldn't be alarmed. If your child is growing and has energy, he should be doing fine.

She also said parents should understand their kid is not going to go hungry. The general idea is to offer them healthy foods -- the same foods that the entire family is offered at meal times because you don't want to become a short order cook. Then parents should let them decide how much to eat.

So what are some tips to get kids to eat? Koontz said you want to start serving kids healthy foods early because it sets the tone for lifelong eating preferences. Research shows the more a child is exposed to food, the more likely they are to eat it. In fact, most children need to be offered a food 12-15 times before they will try it. They don't have to be in the clean plate club, ask them to try one bite and if they don't like it, they don't have to eat more.

Koontz also said not to try bribing a child. "Don't promise them dessert if they eat dinner. It reinforces the idea that their dinner is unpleasant, but if they power through it they can be "rewarded" with dessert."

There is light at the end of the tunnel. Koontz said as kids get older, they become less picky. She said parents still need to focus on not letting dinner time be a battle. They should lead by example so they can see that you are a healthy adult who makes healthy food choices.

Attention all you busy moms! Piedmont Parent is hosting their fourth annual Moms at Work Event October 23rd at the Benton Convention Center in Winston-Salem. From eight until noon, they'll be talking about maintaining a work life balance, networking, and time-saving tips for the working mom. Tickets are 25 dollars each. Register and buy a ticket by clicking here.

Piedmont Parent Magazine Online

Piedmont Parent on Twitter: @PiedmontParent








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