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Picky Eaters 101

picky kids, picky eater, picky eaters, picky eating, eating habits, child development, Kids Campus, Las Vegas kids, Las Vegas daycare, Las Vegas preschool, Las Vegas kindergarten

Got a picky eater? All children are picky eaters at some point.

Got a picky eater? It can be frustrating when your child refuses to eat certain foods, but picky eaters are not uncommon. All children demonstrate some level of pickiness at some point. At our Las Vegas preschool and kindergarten, we see many picky eaters. Follow us on Facebook to learn more about the quality education in Las Vegas that we offer! For more information about our Las Vegas school programs, contact us!

If you are concerned about nutrition, seek an evaluation by your child’s healthcare provider. This may be something beyond common picky eating behavior. Fortunately, most children tend to grow out of this as they get older. But what are you, the parent, supposed to do to push through this finicky stage? Understanding the reasons for this behavior can help your child get over their picky eating. Learn how you can help your picky eater develop a healthy relationship with food!

It Tastes “Yucky”

Humans are biologically wired to prefer sweet foods over bitter foods; sweet things (like breast milk) mean nutrition and bitter things mean poison. For little picky eaters, the flavor of food is amplified because children actually have more taste buds than adults. We tend to lose taste buds as we get older. While their reactions to “yucky” foods might seem dramatic, children are just more sensitive to flavor. Your child could also be genetically extra sensitive to bitter foods. Yes, this is real. Research has shown that some kids are more sensitive to bitter flavors.

Picky Eaters Want Independence

Signs of picky eating start to show around one year old, when children are beginning to feed themselves. They become able to choose what they eat and how much they eat. One year is also the developmental stage when children are starting to walk, talk, and do much more on their own. This new sense of control gives children a desire to have more independence. So, some days they may eat a lot of everything, while they may not touch food at all on other days.

To help them become more interested in eating, get your picky eaters involved in meal preparations. Take advantage of this toddler independence! Have your little one assist with measuring, pouring, or stirring. Let your child help you put together a salad or mix up some pancake batter. Allow your child to choose how their food is arranged. Handling, smelling, and touching food can help your child become more comfortable with the idea eating it.

Parents Should Be Realistic

The challenge for parents is to be realistic about how much their child should be eating. At our Las Vegas daycare, we know that a toddler’s stomach is about the same size as their closed fist. It is unrealistic to expect a child to eat large amounts of food at each meal every day. Children that seem like picky eaters might just be expected to eat too much food.

Parents, continue to provide healthy foods at meals and snack times. Offer several healthy food choices right next to the foods you know your child likes. Encourage them to try it and avoid making special meals when they refuse to eat. Children should be responsible for what and how much they eat. This helps them learn how to eat when they are hungry and stop eating when they are full.

Familiarity With Foods is Key

Studies have shown that children need to be offered a new food as many as 10-15 times before they will eat it. Gently but frequently offer new kinds of foods next to familiar foods, and don’t be discouraged when they refuse. It is also important for parents to eat a variety of healthy foods. Research has found that children’s food preferences are linked to their parents’ food preferences. Not surprising, since we are more likely to prepare meals from foods we enjoy ourselves. This means your child will be more familiar with foods that they see you eating.

Children, especially picky eaters, are less willing to try something new if they don’t see their parents trying it. Make sure that your own choices are in line with the foods that you want your child to eat and enjoy. Parents should avoid showing disgust or disinterest when trying new foods. Just as children imitate the things you say and do, they are also likely to imitate your eating habits. At each meal, give your child a smaller portion of what the rest of the family is eating. These become familiar foods that your child will learn to like.

Don’t Force Kids to Eat

Forcing children to eat does not encourage healthy eating habits. Children are likely to eat less when they are being forced to eat. Research has shown that it can even worsen the behavior of picky eaters. If you force a child to eat, you may be teaching them to rely on others to tell them how much to eat and when they are full or hungry. This is harmful to a child’s future relationship with food. You should also avoid making deals with your child in exchange for eating. In the long run, these kinds of strategies don’t work. Children quickly learn to make deals for doing everything, and they’ll refuse to do anything unless there is a reward for it. Dangerous territory!

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The abcs of good moms

Las Vegas Kindergarten Moms don’t have it easy, here are a few tips to help you: 

Raising children is generally realized as being one of the most complicated and involved processes for any parent to be involved in. The continual pressures and stresses that are faced in daily live beyond child raising detract from being involved and providing kids with the support and oversight they need throughout their development. Any mother concerned about fulfilling their obligations effectively should know many of the ABCs of good moms to ensure their children receive the support and guidance they need.

Mothers are central figures in the lives of children as they are typically the caregivers and full nurturers that are relied on throughout their development process. The important role that mothers play often puts them in a unique position to influence the future of their kids which is a major responsibility for anyone to participate in. Developing great skills can be difficult for any mother to complete.
The abcs of good moms

Parents that are interested in creating effective skills for their kids are offered a plethora of guidance options to consider. Many parents are overwhelmed with all that is necessary for making sure they are given the chance to create a nurturing and healthy environment for their children. Paying attention to several key factors is quite useful in being a great mother.

Understanding that each child is completely different is one of the most fundamental steps in this process. All kids develop their own sense of identity and personality which requires mothers to treat them as individual and provide the specific nurturing that is necessary for safe and healthy development. Approaching each situation and child in a unique manner avoids the feeling of misunderstanding that often exists between parents and children.

Mothers should also make sure they are as involved as possible in the lives of their kids. Involvement is an integral part of any child raising process as kids feel the need to be fully paid attention to and guided through each facet of their life for security purposes. Asking questions about the basics of their day and fully understanding their hobbies and interests creates a keen awareness of how the child is developing.

Encouragement and motivation are also essential aspects of being a great mother. Kids need continual encouragement from their parents while trying to work through confidence deficiencies and a simple lack of knowledge pertaining to various decisions they are trying to make. Kids develop in a much healthier manner when they are fully supported and encouraged.

Guidance of basic life management skills should be provided from mothers as well. Many kids are unable to be independent as they age while lacking the basic skills of being able to care for themselves as their parents did everything for them. Chore lists and specific responsibilities with consequences are helpful in avoiding this development issue.

The ABCs of good moms include being as loving as possible. Showing children love helps them feel safe and appreciated which develops confidence and a pleasant personality. Avoiding detachment and providing continual reminders of love and appreciation is useful in making sure kids development into healthy and happy adults.

Stay tuned for more good tips for Las Vegas Kindergarten Moms.