What to do if your child is a picky eater
Snack time for 2-year-old Johnny Lovelace of Maple Grove consists of strawberries, turkey, cheese and hummus. It's literally finger lickin' good, but it's a different story when he has vegetables on his plate.

"He will eat some green peas and some broccoli here and there, but he doesn't eat a lot of roasted veggies," said his mother Lisa Herman. "I try to make them 10 different ways and he doesn't really eat them."

Same goes for when his parents try to serve him ground beef or steak.

"We definitely wanted to do something about it," Herman said. "We wanted to make sure that we're helping him to eat really well. We want him to have a good relationship with food."

To help Lisa and her husband, David, accomplish that goal, they called in Andrea Potashnick for a coaching session. She's a registered dietitian from Plymouth who works with families on issues related to picky eating.

"A lot of times, parents don't understand what normal eating behaviors in children look like, so it's very common for toddlers to eat a food one day, and then the next day completely reject it," Potashnick said.

Potashnick says children can become picky eaters if their parents force them to eat certain foods, or if their parents bribe them.

"A lot of parents who don't address this issue, their meal times are not pleasant," Potashnick said. "There's a battle at the table going on. There's negotiations going on over the food, and it's just not a pleasant experience for everyone."

Lisa and David wanted to address the issue now while their son was still young. Ultimately, Potashnick created a plan that will hopefully make mealtimes relaxing and fun.

"What it comes down to it as parents, we decide what our children are eating, when they're eating and where they're eating," Potashnick said. "And it's the child's responsibility to decide whether or not they're going to eat, and how much they're going to eat."

For more tips on how to ensure that your child has a healthy relationship with food, you can visit Andrea Potashnick's website.

Delane Cleveland

Jan. 31, 2017


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