Hello to all,

I am glad to present you today this article from Zero to Three on how to handle picky eaters. It gives you useful tricks that could help in everyday situations.

Picky eating often begins around one. Young toddlers start to eat by themselves giving them the choice of which food to eat. Children grow a lot during their first year but they also learn some new skills. They look for comfort and security and often want to stick to the same sort of food.

Parents should pay attention at the portion size; meaning how much their toddler should eat. A toddler’s stomach is approximately the same size as her clenched fist (Martins,2002).

A researcher Ellyn Satter, expert in pediatric feeding practices underlines that both parents and children have their own responsability when it comes to eating. She points out that parents should provide healthy food while children should take care of the quantity of food they eat. In that sense, they have more chance to feel what its like to be full and hungry.

Based on Borah-Giddens & Falciglia research in 1993, parents’ food preferences are strongly linked to their children’s.

What can be done to encourage your child to eat a variety of food ?

-Eat healthy food yourself. Beware that your choices are made according to the food you would like your child to eat and enjoy.

-Have your little toddler assist you while preparing the meals.It will make him want to taste your creation.

-According to a study from Caruth & Skinner in 2000, don’t show any disgust or unwillingness to try new foods. If the mother demonstrates that she doesn’t want to try something new, the child will have the tendency to copy her mom’s behavior just as kids love to do.

This article also gives a few guidelines on how to manage picky eaters adapted from Lerner & Parlakian,2007:

-If your child is affected by the taste or smell of food, you can based your cooking on your child’s food responsiveness. Ex : favor baked potato if your toddler prefers rather than mashed.

-If your child is simply less likely to taste new foods because of his temperament, you can place new foods close to the one’s your toddler already appreciates.

-Some children want to eat by themselves and be picky so you can let your toddler decide where he wants his foods to be on the plate.

-Some children won’t stay long seated, you can therefore place the meal on the table before he goes to sit.

-Forcing your picky eater to eat will make him eat less and he won’t adopt a healthy behaviour. That can make the situation even worse (Sanders, Patel, Le Grice & Shepherd,1993).Such strategies as « if you eat your vegetables, you will have dessert » usually don’t work.

We, Slow Control have invented a smart spoon for picky eaters called yum and done that enhances the meal experience. It interacts with a mobile app that includes a full gallery of sounds and animations. Cuddly animals (panda, koala, bee, rabbit, cat, koala) cover the mobile screen and are here to accompany your baby throughout the meal. The idea behind this invention is to create an interaction that would help your child concentrate at the table and spend good time. He takes pleasure eating with his little meal buddy while you benefit of an easy, quiet and fun meal.

If you wish to learn more about our product, don’t hesitate to have a look at our website : www.slowcontrol.com

Have a great day.

The Slow Control team

References

http://www.zerotothree.org/child-development/health-nutrition/how-to-handle-picky-eaters.html

http://www.parenting.com/article/picky-eaters-into-foodies

Sanders, M.R., Patel, R.K., Le Grice, B., & Shepherd, R.W. (1993). Children with persistent feeding difficulties: An observational analysis of the feeding interactions of problem and non-problem eaters. Health Psychology, 12, 64-73.

Satter, E. (1990). The feeding relationship: Problems and interventions. Journal of Pediatrics, 117 (Suppl.), 181-190.

http://www.webmd.com/parenting/features/feeding-a-picky-eater