Picky, picky, picky: How to get children to eat

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 28, 2008

By Laurel Reisen
Rowan Public Library
Is there a picky eater in your family? A child who turns her nose up at any and all meals served? Well, put down your fork and do not allow another meal to turn into a battle. Rowan Public Library has several books to help you win the War on Food at your family’s dinner table.
In “Feeding the Brazelton Way,” Dr. T. Berry Brazelton and Dr. Joshua D. Sparrow discuss feeding children from infancy to adolescents. This is an excellent handbook describing children’s eating habits and their nutritional needs.
Their book includes advice on picky eaters, allergies, table manners, vitamins, minerals and special items of note for vegetarians. The back of the book features a bibliography of children’s books and further resource information.
Linda Piette, a pediatric nutritionist and registered dietician with 25 years of experience, has written “Just Two More Bites! Helping Picky Eaters Say Yes to Food.” Her book begins with a quiz to determine if a child’s poor eating habits are simply a phase or something that may require additional help from a specialist.
However, the author asserts that picky eating is indeed common and normal in toddlers. According to her research, “There are roughly ninety million picky eaters under the age of five living in the United States today, and each one is picky in their own way.”
After the quiz, there is a chart listing developmental milestones such as the pinching grasp, forks, spoons, straws and sitting alone, all steps children go through when learning to eat. A chapter discusses the nutrition needs of babies, toddlers and preschoolers and provides listings of foods rich in these nutrients. There are also suggestions for filling in nutritional gaps and sample recipes. Each chapter ends with a small “Do’s and Don’ts” page with tips to help parents deal with picky eaters.Jessica Seinfeld’s idea of pureeing vegetables and sneaking them into other foods has been around as long as there have been picky eaters. Her book, “Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Foods,” is more than a cookbook. It is a truly a complete manual for feeding the pickiest of eaters.
Dr. Roxhana Merhan and Dr. Mehmet Oz write the forward and nutritionist Joy Bauer provides easy nutrition guidelines for children. Before delving into her nutritious, delicious recipes, Seinfeld describes food and tools needed for a well-stocked kitchen and pantry as well as hints on how to puree different vegetables. Photographs beautifully illustrate the book and it is conveniently spiral bound.
A wonderful children’s picture book that turns the tables on picky eaters is “Little Pea” by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Jen Cordace. Little Pea likes to do all the things all little children like to do: playing with friends, snuggling with Mama and hearing stories. But, there is one thing Little Pea does not like and that is to eat his dinner. But his “dinner” is not the healthful meal you might think it is … “Blech candy again?!?!?,” he cries. Poor Little Pea knows that he cannot eat dessert unless he eats his candy…
Using these resources available at Rowan Public Library, battles over food may come to a standstill, allowing peace to reign at your dinner table.
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