Many parents do not know how to deal with their children’s “picky eating” phenomenon, which is often characterized by resistance to eating a wide variety of new or familiar foods.
Now a new study by researchers at the University of South Australia has found what parenting tactics can help your children eat all the vegetables and fruits on the table.
The study, recently published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, included an extensive review of 80 studies in the field, designed to examine the characteristics that increase and reduce the phenomenon of selective eating in children under 10 years of age.
The researchers found that certain personality traits of the child, such as increased sensory sensitivity to certain textures or colors of food, to some extent affect the likelihood of picky eating. However, external factors such as a more relaxed parenting style, family meals, regular meals and the child’s participation in preparing and cooking the food were found to have reduced the likelihood of this phenomenon among the children.
On the other hand, the researchers found that a strict parenting style, reward offers, bribes or penalties for eating, as well as putting pressure on the child to eat, were found to increase the likelihood of this phenomenon, which can even lead to the postponement of certain foods for life. In addition, the researchers also stressed the importance of turning off the TV and screens of any kind in front of the dining table, where the parents’ overt anxiety or worry may also contribute to the child’s picky eating.