PHOENIX, AZ – March 27, 2014 – Scottsdale Early Learning Center Executive Director Jennifer Werner tackled a subject bedeviling the parents of many of Arizona’s preschool aged Children in a recent set of guideless … Namely, how to handle a picky eater. As every parent knows, even as toddlers, children often start to refuse certain foods or go on binges where they’ll only eat certain foods. Even though an onset of “picky” eating behavior inevitability presents itself as a problem for parents, it’s important to remember that feeding independence is actually an important step toward independence generally.
“Your child’s diet might not be as well rounded as you’d like, but as long as he or she is growing normally and maintaining a good energy level, you probably don’t have anything at all to worry about. Remember, early childhood isn’t a time in our lives when we actually need a lot of calories,” said Werner.
She went on to outline the following rules of thumb for Arizona parents coping with newly picky eaters.
- Don’t Get Hung Up on Daily Intake: Get used to the idea that most preschool aged children will never eat a balanced diet daily. Instead, over the course of a week or so their diet will usually fall into balance. But if you’re truly worried that he or she isn’t eating well enough, you may want to consider giving your child a daily vitamin
- Three Meals a Day is Above Average: While you should provide three well-balanced meals each day, don’t forget that preschool aged children will only eat one or two full meals daily. If your child had a good breakfast then lunch, it’s okay if he or she doesn’t want to eat as much at dinner
- Keep Trying to Introduce Your Kids to New Foods: It’s not unusual for preschool aged children to approach new foods with more than smidgen of trepidation, but you shouldn’t hesitate to offer them small amounts of your new food of choice once or twice a week. You’ll find that most children will finally give in and try out a food after they’ve been offered it between 10-15 times
In addition to those helpful bullet points, Ms. Werner had few other tips for handling your picky eater.
“Parents should never use food as a bribe or reward for desired behaviors. You’ll always want to avoid punishing your child for not eating well, limit mealtime conversation to positive and pleasant topics, avoid discussing or commenting on your child’s poor eating habits while at the table, limit eating and drinking to the table or high chair, and limit snacks to two nutritious snacks each day.”
Werner went on to add, “You also shouldn’t prepare more than one meal for your child. If he or she doesn’t want to eat what you’ve made for the rest of the family, then don’t force them to, but you also shouldn’t give them something else to eat. Don’t worry. Your child won’t starve because they’ve missed a single meal, but providing an alternative to the meal you’ve prepared will just cause more problems later.”
ABOUT THE SCOTTSDALE EARLY LEARNING CENTER
Small Miracles’ Scottsdale ELC believes every child should be loved first and then taught, through a foundation of love that allows children to grow into their future selves. SELC does this by inspiring a community of educators whose intention is to provide a safe, loving and individual learning experience. SELC offers parents and children alike a wonders-filled preschool environment. It’s the first daycare center in Phoenix with a curriculum specifically designed to instill a positive consciousness and modern worldview with a family-friendly atmosphere. By affirmatively embracing each child’s unique talents and dreams, and armed with the belief that that each child has unlimited potential to contribute to their community, the early learning center’s educators strive to facilitate the optimal growth and development of the children in their care.
Whether parents require a full time preschool or are looking for part-time daycare, the staff at Small Miracles’ Scottsdale Early Leaning Center will always do their best to accommodate them. They welcome opportunities to show off their exceptional childcare facilities, so if you’re a parent, feel free to contact them or visit them online for more information or to arrange a visit.
12630 N. 48th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85032