Like It, Love It or Learning It
Establishing healthy eating habits early are important for setting your child up for success! Healthy eating habits can be defined as having variety of nutrient dense foods in your diet. As a dietitian, the most common barrier I hear from parents is that they have a “picky” or apprehensive eater. I like to use the word apprehensive as the term “picky eating” tends to shed a negative light around mealtime.
Apprehensive eating in children is a normal part of development as many kids fear trying new foods. Parents may become frustrated and misunderstand this behavior as rebellious. As many parents because more exhausted or feel defeated in the kitchen, they may start to only offer “Love It” or “Like It” foods to their child, but this approach will have long-term effects. Try the “Love It, Like It, or Learn It” approach to build positivity around your family dinner table.
Love It Foods: Foods that your child prefers and will eat consistently. When offered, your child will always eat these foods.
Like It Foods: Foods that your child usually prefers, but may eat less of if served next to “love it foods.” When offered, your child will usually eat these foods.
Learn It Foods: Foods that your child rarely (if ever) prefers. When offered, your child will rarely eat these foods.
Keep on, keeping on! When introducing foods to children it can take up to 20 times of offering the food to your child for them to “learn it.” Learning something new takes time, just like any activity we learn in life. Try offering the “learn it” foods with a”love it” or “like it” food to ease the stress of an uncomfortable situation. Be sure to keep portions small and age-appropriate.
Subscribe to our KidsFit newsletter and check out our Dietitian “KidsFit in the Kitchen” videos for ideas on how to implement a variety of foods in your home.