The No-Cry Picky Eater Solution - Gentle Ways to Encourage Your Child to Eat - and Eat Healthy by Elizabeth Pantley
As I have found with all of her No-Cry books, this was a very easy to read and helpful resource. It's short, easy to understand and follow. Great information! The author interviewed and found info from many real families with real kids across the globe. Almost 200 people, almost 300 kids were talked to or found information from for the info in this book. It's tested on REAL people, which makes it a really helpful resource.
The first page is my favorite thing in the book, from the introduction: "189,800. That's the number of meals and snacks today's children can expect to eat in their lifetime.* According to resarchers half of all children born after 2007 in industrialized nations can expect to live to age 104 or older. Thus, 3 meals plus 2 snacks per day, 365 days per year for 104 years equals 189,800." CRA-AZY. This put it all in perspective for me: that teaching my children to eat healthy and get along with food on the table is a big deal and something that's important for me to focus on. However, on the other hand, if some of those almost 200,000 meals or snacks are not-so-healthy or packed full of veggies every single time, it's OK!!! Child will survive. Parent will be sane. It'll be OK!
Also from the introduction, Pantley wrote, "There will never be another time when you hold so much power to affect your child's future than right now. What this means is that his picky eating actions are only a symptom of childhood, and your response to these actions can become pivotal to his future."
I think all kids can be picky eaters at certain points. My child ate everything under the sun - weird concoctions I made from homemade baby food - zucchini with plums and hummus for instance. Then he turned a year old and it all went downhill after that. He learned he had choices, freedom, and the ability to screech so loud and throw spoons and food across the room. He learned to prefer peanut butter sandwiches to almost anything I ever put on his plate. And thus a picky eating phase occurred for a short time. I listened to the books though and just kept offering green beans and "trees" (broccoli) until he tasted them and liked them. But alas, every child may have a picky eating phase. It's all normal.
I like what Pantley wrote though about picky eaters in the introduction, "If your child is a picky eater, keep the correct goal in mind. The objective is not to make your child eat more food but to be sure that food choices are healthy ones." Such an important distinction I think.
She explained her No-Cry philosophy as this, "This book, like all my No-Cry Solution books, is about finding respectful, effective solutions to your family's problems. It's about avoiding tears, stress, and anger, and making positive changes in the most productive ways. The No-Cry philosophy is about viewing probles in the context of the complete child and the entire family. It's about solving only those issues that you feel are problems." This is what I love about this author - she's a REAL mom. She gets it.
On page 18, the author stated that researchers have found that the food kids eat at age 2 and 3 are typically the same foods they eat at age 10. "It speaks loudly to the fact that we should use great care in choosing the types of foods we feed our children from a young age."
Some basic eating tips with children (from the author Pantley in this new book):
-Don't use food as a reward or punishment.
-Discuss why she can't have a cookie for lunch.
-Avoid having battles over food.
-Make mealtime a family fun time.
-Stock the fridge full of healthy items.
-Eat what you serve to your kids - make a good example to them by eating the same healthy foods.
-Don't lecture, talk instead.
-Don't set a child's meal time by the clock or same time every day - sometimes kids want lunch at 10 a.m., it's OK!
-Serve veggies in interesting containers or call them things like "trees" to make them more fun.
-Give kids choices (do you want the green or yellow peppers? do you want to dip your apple in some peanut butter or no dip?)
Pantley goes into the "fundamental four" of ideas she has about making a healthy eater - attitude, enviroment, amounts and rules. She suggests a parent's job is not to make a child eat food, but to present the right foods and guide the child to eating on her own. Our parental attitude toward meal time is important.
On page 49 begin some great charts about how many calories and servings each age group of children should be eating. Very helpful and easy to follow. She offers great recipes on the back also of foods your kids will love.
Overall, a great resource. It makes teaching kids to eat right much less scary than it may seem.