Hudson Valley Parent

HVP April 2015

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Page 18 of 41 ■ Hudson Valley Parent 19 Warm, Child Friendly Atmosphere Children with Special Needs Welcome! Specializing in Children from Infancy to Teens Emergencies Treated with Courtesy & Kindness Nitrous oxide (laughing gas), oral sedation and general anesthesia available 7KDQN\RXWRDOORIWKH +93DUHQWUHDGHUVZKRVHOHFWHG 'U*HUL/\QQ:DOGPDQDVD )DYRULWH'RF 'n' cheese. How do I get out of this rut while making sure my kids eat a well-balanced meal? I'm a working mom with a picky eater, too! The trouble with conforming to their food demands is twofold. One, it makes them feel as though they have the power in the situation, which puts you, as the mom, out of control. Two, it's possible that the family might not be receiving the nutrients that they need out of their foods. It's a common misconception that giving your kids a multivitamin will provide the nutrients that a poor diet lacks. This couldn't be further from the truth, as nothing replaces the say 20,000 nutritional compounds in any given fresh food. Since you are busy, try utilizing the crock-pot! Throw the ingredients in the morning and it's done when you get home. Stews, soups and even casseroles are much easier this way. Q: If my kids eat all of their veggies, they get dessert as a reward. Is this creating a bad habit? In my opinion, yes. While rewards can absolutely help to instill good behaviors in us and our children, when we use food as a reward it teaches them that we deserve "naughty" foods. Let's face it; the rewards we usually offer kids are not the healthiest of foods. This behavior will potentially continue into adulthood. Unless dessert is something healthy, like a piece of fruit, then it shouldn't be happening regularly. I hear constantly from adult patients things like "I work so hard during the day, I deserve a bowl of ice cream at night." This type of thinking is only harming the patient and their nutrition goals. Offer a treat for good behavior for sure, but instead of using food, read a special book, play a fun family game or even use a sticker chart to build up to a bigger reward, like a trip to the park or zoo!

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