How Can Parents Better Help Kids With Picky Eating Habits?

How Can Parents Better Help Kids With Picky Eating Habits?

Forcing “picky eaters” to eat may not improve their attitudes or behaviors toward food. According to a recent study, creating a positive, supportive, and flexible approach to eating is more helpful.1 Researchers from Duke Health surveyed more than 19,000 American adults who identified as "picking eaters" or had symptoms of Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID). They were asked to recall whether certain parent feeding strategies helped with their eating habits. The study found that 39% of helpful themes reported by the participants related to a “positive emotional context" around food. About 40% of the responses deemed mentioned that creating a “structure around eating" was helpful.1 On the other hand, the participants said that being forced to eat or feeling like they made their parents angry by avoiding certain foods didn't help. While the survey examined a large sample, the respondents were 75% female, 25% male, and 89% White. "Unfortunately, eating... Read more

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