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Tips for Your Picky Eaters

By Rachel Shouse

Studies show that as many as 50 percent of parents feel they have a picky eater in their family. Coming from someone who has been through picky eating with all four of her children, it's a rollercoaster. A rollercoaster that is a half-second from blowing to smithereens. People really mean well when they say, "you're doing everything right -- keep going." While that's great to hear when we're all but losing our minds, it doesn't get us any closer to a solution. There's no cure for picky eating. There are some ways to make this situation better, though.

Problems Parents Face Because of Their Picky Eater

A lot of parents, mothers in particular, worry that their kid isn't eating enough or their limited diet is impacting other areas of their child's development. Research shows that children are actually really great regulators. They know when they're hungry and they know when they're full. Of course, they can try to sneak a fast one by you, but you'll know when it's genuine. 

Other than trying to avoid eating dinner by feigning a stomach ache, you could be facing power struggles. Little ones want so badly to be in control of their world and parents want so badly to keep their babies safe and happy. Parents get restrictive and then their kids push back and on goes the cycle. Not that kids don't push even reasonable boundaries and rules.

Don't Shy Away From New Foods

It doesn't need to be a power struggle, but it's important that you keep trying to expose your little one to new foods. Giving your child choices may provide them with enough freedom to both appease them and make mealtimes easier for you. Choices don't mean a free for all. They could choose which fruit they can have at snack time or choose between a sandwich or macaroni and cheese for lunch.

Kill Three Birds With One Stone

There are so many ways that your family could spend time together and also be productive. You could let your kids help you meal plan and get their opinions on what they eat for dinner. Letting them help you cook dinner is great as well. Sometimes putting some work into the meal gives them the push they need to give it a try. Also, studies show that kids who learn to cook early on in life actually eat healthier when they're adults. 

Be nice to yourselves, moms and dads. It's a lot of work -- raising good and healthy children. You're not going to be perfect everyday and no one expects that of you. Maybe make a few family goals this month and see if everyone gets excited. 

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Tampa, Fla.

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