Article on Strategies for Picky Eaters-No Snack Cupboards
Well Fed is just about to launch a new class at the studio “Picky Eaters No More!” with guest host Kristen Yarker, MSc, Dietitian . Kristen Yarker has been working with Picky Eaters and turning them successfully into food confident kids for years. I wanted to pass along this great article that she wrote to help you out. So check it out.
If you are interested in attending one of Well Fed-Picky Eaters No More! cross functional workshops please register below.
Here’s the article…
*Don’t Have Snack Cupboards*
I’ve been hearing lately about snack cupboards/ shelves that parents fill
with food that their toddlers and preschoolers can serve themselves
whenever they want.
While the intention comes from a good place, I believe that these
contribute to picky eating.
Kids need to come to the table at mealtimes with an appetite. If kids come
to the table not hungry, they won’t be interested in eating and a battle
will likely ensue.
It takes at least an hour to develop an appetite. If kids are given free
access to food then they will eat all day long and they won’t have an opportunity to build up an appetite.
Looking at the situation through the eyes of a young child:
What is my motivation to stop playing and come to the table to eat
challenging new foods? Especially when I can simply play all day and fill
up on familiar foods from my cupboard.
‘Healthy eating’ is too abstract a concept for toddlers and preschoolers
to understand. They’re just too young to understand that one cannot live on
granola bars (insert your little one’s favourite food) alone. Given the
opportunity to freely eat from a snack cupboard, they will eat nothing
but what tastes the best – they won’t eat a balance of foods from the four
That’s why they rely on you to do the meal planning. It’s the adult’s job
to choose when to eat. And, what to serve. It’s your child’s job to
choose whether or not to eat at each opportunity, how much to eat, and what to
eat from what you’ve provided.
If you want to provide a snack cupboard/shelf, wait until your kids are
school-aged and they understand the basics of how our bodies work and healthy eating.
Transforming picky eaters into food-confident kids
Kristen Yarker, MSc, Dietitian
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