Hudson Valley Parent

HVP April 2015

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Page 10 of 41 ■ Hudson Valley Parent 11 (Continued on Page 12) "If a child skips vegetables at one meal or refuses to eat them for a few days, it's not the end of the world," she says. Instead of forcing veggie-hating kids to choke down peas and carrots, encourage a variety of fresh fruits, which offer many of the same nutritional benefi ts as vegetables. Presentation matters, too: arrange vegetables on the plate in a fun way, and provide a rainbow of colors to ensure a balance of vitamins and antioxidants. ELEMENTARY YEARS 6-12: Chef mom During the chaotic, busy school years, parents of picky eaters may be tempted to head off battles by fi xing each child a separate meal. But morphing into a short-order chef at mealtimes won't solve the problem, and just creates more work (and eventually, resentment) for parents. Instead of falling into this common trap, involve school- age children in shopping and meal planning. "When you work with a selective eater, instead of against him, you will be more successful," Lachowitz notes. Try to include one or two items in each meal that everyone will enjoy, and then prepare the rest of the meal normally without making excessive accommodations for a picky eater. Encourage a child to try the main course without forcing him to eat (nearly always a losing battle). Never use food as a reward, even for nishing another food. You don't want your child to view vegetables as her ticket to dessert.

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