Healthy Living: Young kids’ eating habits

Healthy Living

(WHTM) — It’s no secret parents and caregivers play a big role in establishing a child’s eating habits.

But how can we set them up for success? What if I have a picky eater?

A team of experts came together, sharing tips on how to best encourage healthy eaters.

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The team was made up of pediatricians, dietitians, child development specialists and child psychologists. They say emerging research shows that it’s not just what we feed our kids but how we handle mealtime that will determine if our children have a healthy relationship with food.

Deputy Director Megan Lott outlines three main takeaways from the team’s findings.

“It really boils down to structuring your environment to provide a variety of healthy choices and ways kids can learn about healthy food. Autonomy is the second one. giving kids independence and involving them in the meal process. And repetition is probably the single most important one,” Lott said.

Lott says it can take ten to fifteen tries of a new food before kids know if they really like it or not. But most parents give up after the second or third try of that food.

Lott also said most of us were raised to finish our plates but we shouldn’t take that approach with our kids. Rather, have conversations about being full.

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