Parenting: Picky Eaters

November 14, 2011

If my children had their way, they'd eat nothing but chicken nuggets and mac and cheese. I met a mom recently who had such a tough time getting her kids to eat that she cooked each child a separate meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

Bridget Le Grazie and her husband Jesse have three beautiful children under the age of 7. All three girls have problems eating a variety of fruits and vegetables. Bridget was worried about their nutrition, growth rate and problems with eczema. She took them to a specialist and Bridget said her life has completely changed!

Dianne Lazer is a speech pathologist who runs better speech and Feeding, Inc. in Cherry Hill, NJ. Dianne assesses the each child to be sure there aren't medical needs that need attention. She often refers the children to a nutritionist. Once the children get the vitamins and nutrients they need, it affects their taste buds and sense of smell. Kids often start craving the foods their body needs. Dianne also warns that salt and sugar are addictive. So the kids who have poor eating habits tend to get caught in a vicious cycle.

Dianne is a big proponent of education. Through fun games and colorful books, she teaches the kids about the importance of eating the right foods. The kids actually create their own recipe book, complete with pictures of themselves eating their new favorite, healthy meals. In the LeGrazie home, they allow each child to have their favorite meal one day a week! This really seems to empower the children and goes a long way in healing the family.

Bridget told me meal time is a new experience for her now. No more crying and whining! The kids actually like taking part in their new healthy habits!

My kids have less severe problems with eating. I find if you stay strict and only let the kids who finish their veggies get dessert, it works like a charm! I also put cheese or ketchup on just about everything green!

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