Relax at Mealtimes and Your Children Will be Less Picky

In an article published by the University of Michigan in 2018, it was revealed that children who were picky about food, generally had parents who were stricter during mealtimes.

In the study, the researchers worked on 317 pairs of mothers and their children aged between four and nine. At regular intervals over a five year period, mothers reported their methods for encouraging their children to eat foods they disliked. The researchers divided the children into three groups: low pickiness (29%), medium pickiness (57%) and high pickiness (14%). Highly picky kids ate vegetables very rarely, and they were very nervous when eating them. Also, according to the results, parents of children who were highly picky about eating were the families that put the most pressure on children to eat foods they disliked. Children of families who were more relaxed about food, on the other hand, were much less picky.

Enjoy Various Foods

Interestingly, another result observed was that children who had difficulty expressing their feelings were generally highly picky about eating. On the other hand, children who were able to express themselves more freely were much less picky and more relaxed during mealtimes. According to senior author Dr. Megan Pesch, we shouldn't force kids to eat anything on their plates if they don't want to eat it. In addition, we shouldn't tell them that they have to finish their vegetables before they can eat dessert or be allowed to leave the table. Instead, experts say that parents should help children get used to eating a wider variety of food by putting many foods they do not want to eat on their plates regularly, but that we should not put pressure on them while doing this. Parents should introduce different foods to their children, so that they enjoy various foods. Mealtimes should be a fun time enjoyed by the whole family!