By Julia Moravcsik, PhD, author of Teach Your Child to Love Healthy Food
Most young animals have to learn what to eat. A young fawn nuzzles her mother's nose aside and eats the very plant that her mother was eating. If the fawn went off and foraged for herself, it wouldn't be long before a sad incident with a deadly nightshade plant would mean the end of her short life.
Your child has the same instincts. Sitting with Mom and Dad at the dinner table gives him reassurance that the food is not poisonous. Not consciously, of course. But new food to a young child is frightening (although we adults are too old to remember this) and if Dad and Mom are enjoying it, it triggers the unconscious mind to accept the food.
This is one of the reasons why a family meal is so important. You've probably read magazine articles or online news articles that praise the family meal. Recently, yet another study has found that family meals are beneficial -- this time in helping picky eaters become less picky.
One reason family meals help picky eaters is by reassuring them that the food is safe, Next week I'll talk about other ways that a family meal can help your picky eater learn to enjoy many healthy foods.
More Tips on the Family Meal
Would you like a simple, easy-to-follow program that will teach your child to love healthy food? See my new book Teach Your Child to Love Healthy Food on amazon.com.