Frustrated by a Picky Eater? A Healthy Approach to Healthy Eating

Posted on December 30, 2012 by VITAL WorkLife

Updated March 17, 2021

Vegetables-1Is your dinner table turning into a battleground? Do you struggle with a child who never seems to eat enough or one who only wants to eat fatty foods or sugary treats? There's a new philosophy around feeding children that suggests dividing the responsibility for healthy eating into two roles:

Parents are responsible for:

  • What food is served
  • When eating occurs
  • Where eating is allowed

Children are responsible for:

  • How much to eat
  • Whether or not to eat

Parents need to schedule regular meal and snack times—and stick to them. You provide a variety of nutritious foods at each meal. You decide whether snacks will consist of entirely of healthy food choices—or the occasional less healthy treat.

The child decides how much to take of what. There should be no "grazing" between meals or snacks. It may take time for a child to realize that if he or she doesn't eat the meals and snacks provided at the time they are provided, they may feel hungry until the next eating opportunity occurs.

Don't comment on what or how much your child is eating. Trust them to eat what they like and stop when they are no longer hungry. Don't threaten or cajole them about their choices. Battles over eating are more apt to cause than prevent eating disorders during the teen years.

Worried about your child's diet or nutrition? Call Nurseline. We're here 24/7 to help you make informed decisions about caring for yourself and the people you love.

If you have questions about what or how much you or someone in your family is eating, Nurseline can help. Please call Nurseline any time of the day or night to speak to a registered nurse. 

Pathways to Well Being Call VITAL WorkLife at 800.383.1908 or access resources through your VITAL WorkLife App

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