Monday, October 17, 2011

Family Meals Help Children Like Healthy Foods: Part 2

By Julia Moravcsik, PhD, author of Teach Your Child to Love Healthy Food

Last week I posted an article talking about how family meals reassure children that their food is safe, because children see their parents and siblings eating the same food.  Baby animals, including humans, have the instinct to eat the same food that their parents are eating.

This week I will talk about another way that family meals help children learn to love healthy food.

Food Can Be Scary

It's hard for an adult to imagine, but food can be frightening to children, especially children who are picky eaters.  They don't have the experience that we adults have in knowing the various textures and tastes of food.  It can be scary to bite into a forkful of food, especially a new food, and not know whether it will be repulsive or not.  Children have much a much more acute sense of taste than adults.  What might be mildly unpleasant to an adult may be overwhelmingly repulsive to a child.

Food is Love and Love is Food

Children are reassured by the presence of their family around them.  Your child will be more likely to do scary things, like playing with new children, riding a bike for the first time, or going on a ferris wheel ride, if encouraging, happy parents are around.

Eating dinner with friendly family members makes children braver.  The food doesn't seem as threatening if parents are joking and laughing.

Happiness makes food taste better.

Dinner is a Happy Time

Meals should be a time of happiness and fun.  Save the lectures, lessons, and scolding for another time.  Let the happiness of the meal encourage your child to like his healthy food.

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.

Related Articles

Further Tips on Enjoying a Family Meal
Children Like the Food They Grow Up With 

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