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Do you ever find yourself in a battle of wills at the meal table with your toddler? Trying to reason or coax your toddler into trying something new to eat? Or taking over feeding because things have gotten a little too messy?

Welcome to the third installment of our Your Child’s Development Series—and it’s all about the toddler.

Toddlers can be picky and erratic with eating.

Toddlerhood can be a time of frustration, struggle and self-doubt for parents, and in a nutshell: a test of your parenting skills. The toddler can rock the world of even the most capable parent (dietitians included).

For the toddler, it is a time of budding independence (separation from you), environmental exploration, limit testing, and understanding self-control.

A toddler’s physical growth continues to be steady, but slows down compared to babyhood.  Because growth is slower, the toddler appetite shifts, becoming voracious one meal and light or maybe non-existent at another.

How well your toddler eats from one meal to the next can be as predictable as the roll of a dice.

And toddler eating can worry parents.

Understanding how the toddler develops, both physically and cognitively (fancy word for brain development), can help you get a grip on why your toddler behaves the way he does, especially around food and eating.

Erik Erikson describes toddlerhood as a time of struggle—a time to figure out who the toddler is as an individual (autonomy) and figure out how to control himself from the feedback he receives from his environment (shame and doubt). And the drive to understand the world is so strong, it can get in the way of eating.

Combine your toddler’s desire for independence, self-control, and exploration with an unpredictable appetite and it’s no wonder your toddler causes you confusion, frustration, and worry!

Some of the most worrisome eating behaviors during toddlerhood are:

  • Refusing or being afraid to try new foods (called neophobia).
  • Only wanting to eat certain foods or getting stuck on one food for a long period of time (food jags).
  • Skipping meals or snacks.

These behaviors are a natural and expected part of toddler development. If you’re not prepared for them, they can test your patience and be the root of negative dynamics at the meal table.

Did you know that how you respond to this normal behavior is more important than the behavior itself?

Here are some things to think about when feeding your toddler:

Don’t be over-invested in how well your child eats at a particular meal or snack, the cumulative intake over the course of a week is what matters most. Great meals are often counteracted with disappointing meals.

Watch your responses when your child eats. Overly praising or obvious disappointment with your child’s eating behavior may not give you the results you want, like eating enough or eating vegetables. It’s best to have a neutral attitude and response when it comes to your child’s eating behavior.

Provide structure to feeding your toddler by keeping meals and snacks on a predictable schedule (about 3 hours in between) and within a reasonable time frame (20-30 minutes per meal and 10-15 minutes per snack).

Don’t sweat the skipped meal. This is just a result of the variable appetite that goes with toddlerhood. Use the meal/snack structure to your advantage. Toddlers need 3 meals and 3 snacks each day—if little Johnny skips his morning snack, he will be able to eat again at lunch (or at the other opportune meals and snacks during the day).

Avoid the traps of feeding the same old food everyday just because your toddler will eat it.  Eventually, this tactic will become an obstacle to getting your toddler to eat a variety of foods in the long run. Continue to offer new foods and old foods, in different combinations, keeping your toddler comfortable (he recognizes the old standbys) but also challenge him (introducing unfamiliar foods) at the same time.

Don’t interfere with your toddler’s eating by taking over the spoon, wiping his face after each bite, or pushing him to drink more than he wants to. Remember, eating is one of the ways you can support the natural progression to independence that your toddler is trying to achieve…interfering is just…interfering.

Start using the Division of Responsibility in Feeding— it provides a clear definition of what your responsibilities are (the what, where and when of feeding) and those of your child (whether and how much to eat). You can read more about this here.

Allow choices, but not too many. Try to keep your choices to two options and keep them within the same food group (bananas or pears; broccoli or peas; pasta or rice). Having a choice is the control toddlers are looking for—and an appropriate place to let them have it. While we do want toddlers to be in control of whether and how much they eat, we don’t want toddlers to be in charge of nutrition and feeding—that’s your job.

Pay attention to tasty meals that provide exposure to most of the food groups. Everyone enjoys food that tastes good–even toddlers!

Check your feeding style –a positive and effective style will go a long way in calming the waters at the meal table.

Toddlerhood doesn’t have to be terrible, especially if you know what to expect with development, and how it will impact eating. Is it possible to relax and enjoy toddlerhood? I think so.

Stay tuned for Your School-Age Child’s Development in our next installment.

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Children mimic your behaviors!

Contrary to popular belief, children hear what you say and see what you do.  Your behaviors and comments can leave a lasting impression.  Even your body image or weight concerns can be passed on to your kids.  Evidence shows that stressing thinness and weight control promotes eating disorders, low self-esteem, decreased body image, and weight bias in children.  Furthermore, eating behaviors linked to a higher risk for obesity are known to develop very early in life.  A 2001 study showed family food environments and attitudes around food and eating affect even preschool-aged kids’ eating behaviors.  You may think youngsters don’t pick up on your drastic dieting or negative comments you make about your body like older children, but they do!

Several studies show that restrictive feeding can impair a child’s ability to regulate their intake, resulting in overeating and weight gain.  Worrying about your own weight can influence your feeding style.  For example, forbidding high calorie foods or sweets in your home can result in your child sneaking food or feeling deprived and overeating when given the opportunity.  Overly controlling or eliminating fun foods simply doesn’t work with kids – balance is key.

Have you ever found yourself saying out loud:

“I have got to lose weight, I am getting so fat”

“I am going to be good and skip lunch today”

“No more desserts for me, I don’t deserve it”

If so, you may want to censor your comments and think before you speak.   Remember, your words could promote your child’s weight gain!

As a parent, you can model  “good for you” behaviors without fixating on weight.  There’s nothing wrong with guiding your child towards adopting healthy habits that will benefit him or her – that’s part of your role!

Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to promote a healthy weight for yourself while empowering your child.

DO:

  • Be physically active and limit your own sedentary activities
  • Aim to eat when feeling physically hungry
  • Have a neutral view about all foods
  • Stock a range of nutritious foods in your home and choose these options more often
  • Offer balanced family meals as much as you can
  • Choose to talk about yourself and others with respect and appreciation

DON’T:

  • Get caught up in the latest fad diet or encourage your child to diet
  • Skip meals
  • Eliminate all sweets or high calorie foods from your home
  • Use food for rewards or punishments for yourself or for others
  • Eat while standing up or distracted (may lead to eating mindlessly)
  • Emphasize effects of unhealthy eating
  • Focus on anyone’s weight, especially yours or your child’s

Bottom line:  You are your child’s biggest role model – do you want your child viewing and treating their body the way you do?

Contributing Author:  Katherine Fowler, MS, RD, LDN

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It is hard to beat good homemade macaroni and cheese, but store bought mac n’ cheese can be a real family-pleaser and time saver.

Macaroni and Cheese--A Kid Favorite!

These days, there are countless macaroni and cheese products.   Frozen, refrigerated, or boxed varieties can be microwaved, baked, or prepared on a stovetop.  There is a lot to choose from!  This Consumer Corner post features information about my favorite mac and cheese brands.  Clearly, I have not tried every macaroni and cheese product available, so I am keeping it simple by narrowing down my top picks into two categories of boxed macaroni and cheese:  best traditional and best whole wheat.  I investigated several popular brands like Kraft’s traditional macaroni and cheese and Velveeta shells and cheese.  Taste, texture, calorie, fat and sodium content, and artificial additives and preservatives were all considered when choosing my top picks.

Best Traditional:  Trader Joe’s Macaroni and Cheese-Wisconsin Cheddar

This brand does not require adding butter or margarine, so the fat and calorie content is half of most traditional brands.  Don’t worry, you don’t have to sacrifice taste!  This pasta has a delicious, tangy, cheddar cheesy flavor.  Kids will appreciate the fun, classic tube shaped pasta.  Parents can feel good about serving this product as it contains no preservatives and the orange-yellow color comes from annatto seed, not artificial food coloring.  Unfortunately, this mac is only available in Trader Joe’s stores.  Click here to find a location near you.

Nutrition Facts: (2.5 oz/1 cup prepared with 2% milk) about 3 servings per box

  • Calories- 270
  • Total Fat- 4g
  • Saturated Fat- 2g
  • Trans Fat- 0g
  • Sodium- 500 mg
  • Carb- 47 g
  • Fiber- 2 g
  • Sugars- 3 g
  • Protein- 10 g

Best Whole Wheat:  Annie’s Homegrown Organic Whole Wheat Shells and White Cheddar

Similar to my traditional favorite, this brand does not require adding butter or margarine.   This white cheddar variety has a sharp taste, and the shells have a firmer bite than most shells and cheese varieties.  This Annie’s product is made with certified organic whole wheat pasta and certified organic white cheddar cheese.  It is an excellent source of fiber, and is made with 100% whole grain, containing 48 grams per serving!  See Whole Wheat, White Wheat, What?  for more information about whole grains.   You can find Annie’s Whole Wheat Shells and White Cheddar at grocery and natural food stores nationwide.

Nutrition Facts: (2.5 oz/1 cup prepared with 2% milk) about 2.5 servings per box

  • Calories- 260
  • Total Fat- 5g
  • Saturated Fat- 2g
  • Trans Fat- 0g
  • Sodium- 580mg
  • Carb- 44 g
  • Fiber- 5 g
  • Sugars- 7 g
  • Protein- 10 g

Adding vegetables like tomatoes, peas, and broccoli to mac and cheese is an easy way to boost the nutritional value of any meal.   Incorporating vegetables is an effective approach for introducing new or unaccepted foods to younger children that already love mac and cheese.  Get creative!  For inspiration, check out these recipes from Annie’s that feature adding vegetables to many of their pasta products.

What are your preferred macaroni and cheeses?

Disclaimer: Just The Right Byte provided an objective and independent review of these products; no affiliations or support was obtained from any grocer or food marketer.

Contributing Author:  Katherine Fowler, MS, RD, LDN

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I wrote this post as a participant in the Eat, Play, Love blog carnival hosted by Meals Matter and Dairy Council of California to share ideas on positive and fun ways to teach children healthy eating habits. A list of other registered dietitians and moms who are participating in the carnival will be listed at the bottom of this post or can be found on Meals Matter.


“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.”

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

One of the ways you demonstrate love for your child is through feeding and the relationship that develops at the meal table. This feeding relationship grows over time, and is directly influenced by the ups and downs between you and your child at the meal table (or wherever you feed your child).

Feeding children is often layered with multi-tasking. These distractions can interfere with connecting at the meal table.  Yet, connecting, and the feeding relationship, is a necessary piece of good parenting and raising healthy kids.

What many parents don’t know is that feeding your child is full of opportunity for connection! It is estimated that there are over 28,000 opportunities to connect with your child through feeding.

Let me state that again.

There are over 28,000 opportunities to create a positive relationship around food and eating with your child.

With so many opportunities, the potential for successful feeding and eating is a no-brainer. But the reality is that family meals aren’t always touchy-feely and nurturing. They can be laden with ineffective feeding styles that promote negative eating habits and negative feelings. Or, they can be loaded with parenting practices like rewarding, pressuring or restricting that backfire, resulting in exactly what you don’t want–more pickiness, over- or under-eating, strained interactions and maybe even weight problems.

Where it all begins…

Eye contact is an important way of connecting with your child.

The feeding relationship begins the moment you first feed your baby. Whether you choose to breast or bottle feed, connection is underway. It is important that you hold and look at your baby. This is how the attachment between parent and child begins (more on attachment in our Development Series).

While you don’t hold your toddler, school-age child or teen when you feed them, your eye contact, conversation, presence, and attention all support the attachment that was started in infancy.

It’s important to keep this connection going, especially as your child gets older and you compete against the world of outside influences.

Let me count the ways…to strengthen the feeding relationship

Be engaged: Sit down with your child and pay attention to them. For tips on mealtime conversation starters, click here. Don’t make the mistake of multi-tasking while feeding your child. As tempting as it is, it distracts you from connecting with your child. Remember, meals are only 20-30 minutes of your time–your child is worth it!

Reciprocate: Feeding is a reciprocal relationship–you react to what your child is doing (whether it is good or bad behavior) and your child reacts to your behavior. Remember, you are the leader and your child will follow you. Keep mealtime positive and you are likely to get a pleasant response in return.

Trust intuition:  It’s important to listen to your child’s hunger and fullness cues, and respond in ways that honor those cues. Kids don’t always get the hunger/fullness thing right–sometimes they are right, and sometimes they mis-fire. They are figuring it out and need your help doing so.

Make sure you give your child feedback when they are right and when they miss the boat: “Boy, you sure know how listen to your body!” AND “Don’t worry, we’ll get this right next time…maybe if you eat a little bit more at lunch, this won’t happen again. What do you think?” In the long run, these are important lessons to be learned, for both you and your child.

Be reliable: Get those meals and snacks on the table–regularly. The more reliable you are with meals, the calmer and more secure your child may be with food and eating, at every age.

What’s Your Message?  Remember that you send messages to your child at the meal table: You are important to me. I care about you. I care about your health. AND Your hunger can wait. Something else (the dishes, the phone…) is more important.

Feeding your child is just one way to develop a strong, trusting bond and connection. You’ve got thousands of opportunities! Messing up a few of these interactions isn’t going to do irreversible damage–just make sure you tip the balance towards positive interactions and intentional connections at the meal table. Both you and your child will reap the benefits for a lifetime!

Join us for a free webinar: Eat, Play, Love: Raising Healthy Eaters on May 18!

Don’t stop here! Join the carnival and read other Eat, Play, Love blogs from dietitians and moms offering the best advice on raising healthy eaters. And if you don’t get enough today, for more positive, realistic and actionable advice from registered dietitian moms, register for the free, live webinar Eat, Play, Love: Raising Healthy Eaters on Wednesday, May 18.

The Best-Kept Secret for Raising Healthy Eaters, Maryann Jacobsen, MS, RD
Feeding is Love, Jill Castle, MS, RD, LDN
5 Quick Ways to Prepare Veggies with Maximum Flavor, Dayle Hayes, MS, RD
The Art of Dinnertime, Elana Natker, MS, RD
Children Don’t Need a Short Order Cook, Christy Slaughter
Cut to the Point – My Foodie Rules, Glenda Gourley
Eat, Play, Love – A Challenge for Families, Alysa Bajenaru, RD
Eat, Play, Love ~ Raising Healthy Eaters, Kia Robertson
Get Kids Cooking, Jessica Fishman Levinson, MS, RD, CDN
Kid-Friendly Kitchen Gear Gets Them Cooking, Katie Sullivan Morford, MS, RD
Kids that Can Cook Make Better Food Choices, Glenda Gourley
Making Mealtime Fun, Nicole Guierin, RD
My Top Ten Tips for Raising Lifelong Healthy Eaters, EA Stewart, RD
My No Junk Food Journey – Want to Come Along?, Kristine Lockwood
My Recipe for Raising Healthy Eaters: Eat Like the French, Bridget Swinney MS, RD, LD
Playing with Dough and the Edible Gift of Thyme, Robin Plotkin, RD, LD
Picky Eaters Will Eat Vegetables, Theresa Grisanti, MA
Putting the Ease in Healthy Family Eating, Connie Evers, MS, RD, LD
Raising a Healthy Eater, Danielle Omar, MS, RD
Raising Healthy Eaters Blog Carnival & Chat Roundup, Ann Dunaway Teh, MS, RD, LD
Soccer Mom Soapbox, Sally Kuzemchak, MS, RD
Teenagers Can Be Trying But Don’t Give Up, Diane Welland MS, RD
What My Kids Taught Me About Eating Mindfully, Michelle May, MD

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Guest blogger and registered dietitian, Katherine Fowler, shares her wisdom about whole grains for us this week.

Katherine Fowler, MS, RD, LDN

Can you identify whole grains?  More importantly, are you getting enough of them?  The world of whole grains is not easy to navigate.  Claims on packaging can be confusing and misleading.  No need to worry!   The answers to your questions can be found here.

What exactly is a whole grain?

All grains actually start out as whole grains.  The original grain consists of three parts: 

  • Bran:  Outer shell containing phytochemicals, B vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber
  • Endosperm:  Inner portion containing proteins, carbohydrates and B vitamins
  • Germ:  Inner core containing B vitamins, vitamin E, unsaturated fat, phytochemicals, and antioxidants

According to the Whole Grains Council, whole grains contain all three parts along with their nutrients after processing. It is believed that the fiber, vitamins, minerals and other substances contained in whole grains work together to provide maximum health benefits.

The making of white bread (many kids’ favorite!) involves processing the whole grain, removing (or “stripping”) the bran, germ and key nutrients, including much of the fiber.

Why go for whole grains?

Research shows that eating whole grains everyday can help reduce the risk for heart disease and diabetes, and may normalize blood glucose levels, lower blood cholesterol and blood pressure, and decrease risk for some cancers.   Whole grains add texture and flavor to foods and may help you feel fuller between meals, promoting a healthy weight.

How much whole grain is enough?

In a study published in the February 2010 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, researchers reported young people ages 15 to 23 are consuming less than 1 serving of whole grains per day!

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines recommend that most Americans make half of their grains whole, or have at least three servings of whole grains daily.  Sixteen or more grams of whole grain ingredients equals a full serving.

Note:  Recommendations for whole grains are different than recommendations for grams of dietary fiber.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 0.5 grams of fiber for every kilogram (2.2#) of body weight for children ages 2 and older.  Adding 5 grams to a child’s age is an easy and accurate way to determine minimum daily fiber needs. 

The Dietary Guidelines define a serving of whole grain as:

  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice, whole grain pasta or other whole grain
  • 1/2 cup cooked whole grain cereal

    The Whole Grain Stamp

  • 1 slice 100% whole grain bread
  • 1 small (1 oz.) 100% whole grain muffin
  • 1 cup 100% whole grain ready-to-eat cereal

For more on the age-specific, minimum serving requirements for whole grains, click here.

How do you know if it’s whole?

Many products contain whole grain and refined flour, so recognizing good sources is not clear-cut.  These tips will help you evaluate products:

1. Look for the Whole Grain Stamp, a symbol now on hundreds of packages.  The 100% Whole Grain Stamp identifies products that are 100% whole grain while the basic Whole Grain Stamp appears on products containing at least half a serving of whole grain.

2. Check the package label.  Many whole grain products do not bear a stamp. Some list grams of whole grain on the package, or label a product as “100% whole grain.”  Be skeptical if you see phrases like “made with whole grain” or if the word “whole” is not used.

3. Focus on the ingredient list.  If a whole grain is listed in the first few ingredients, the product is a good source of whole grain.  If enriched wheat flour, or white flour appears at the beginning of the list, it is not a good source.

A product containing some whole grain is better than one made solely from refined flour.  Some whole grains are better than none!

Cooking Light has done the homework for you and determined whether popular products are whole grain or not.  Click here to see if your favorites pass the test.

What about white wheat?

For those that prefer the taste and texture of white bread, select white whole wheat bread. White whole wheat bread is made with white wheat, a variety of wheat that is lighter in color and texture.  It offers the same benefits of traditional red wheat.  Remember, if the label doesn’t say “whole” white wheat, it isn’t a whole grain product.

A word on fiber

A high fiber food does not imply a food is whole grain.  Different grains naturally contain various amounts of fiber.  Food companies have started to add isolated fibers such as inulin, maltodextrin, and polydextrose to their products that increase fiber content, however, they do not provide the same health benefits of whole grains.

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In a society that places a high focus on food (both healthy and unhealthy), it’s easy to get mired in the black and white thinking of “good foods, bad foods”. Parents easily fall into this trap while they are in the midst of  “getting food right” for their kids. And boy, does the job of “getting food right” get confusing for everyone!

What if we changed the language we use?  What if we try to label foods in a positive manner, so that kids can grasp what we are trying to teach them without fear and negativity?

Fun Foods taste good but need limits.

Enter the concept of FUN FOOD.

FUN FOODS are foods that are yummy (and sometimes irresistible), usually due to their sweet, fatty and/or salty taste.

Examples are birthday cake, cupcakes, cookies, soda, candy, chips and fried foods. FUN FOODS tend to be generous in calories, low in nutrition and naturally alluring (think about those pleasure-seeking taste buds–sweet, salt, and fat).

Parents tell me that FUN FOODS are everywhere, and they fear that FUN FOODS are becoming a mainstay in their kids’ diets. No longer just a treat at birthday parties, FUN FOODS are making regular appearances at school, church, and sporting events. While I am all for fun, too many FUN FOODS can get some kiddos into trouble.

Do you ever feel that FUN FOODS are invading your child’s daily plate?

If you answered ‘yes’, then you (and your kids) need a rule to live by! One that can keep the fun in food without ruining anyone’s health.

Enter the 90:10 RULE, a concept that many families find useful in tapering the influence of FUN FOODS.

It goes like this:

90% of what kids eat during the day is good-for-you, growing food (a balance and variety of foods from the MyPyramid guide: lean protein sources, dairy, fruit, vegetables, and whole grains)— and the other 10% is FUN FOOD.

For most healthy kids, a good rule of thumb is to eat no more than 1-2 FUN FOODS each day. Kids can understand this concept—and the best part– allowing kids to choose which FUN FOOD they will eat. Take a look:

     Sally knows that she will have the opportunity to have donuts after church on Sunday, as well as cake and ice cream at the afternoon birthday party she is attending.  Following the 90:10 Rule, she opts for cake and ice cream at the party and skips the donuts at church.  Good choice, Sally!

     Brent is playing baseball this afternoon and as tradition has it, he grabs a slushy drink.  He passes on the bowl of ice cream later that night, remembering he chose his FUN FOOD earlier that day. Home run, Brent!

The 90:10 RULE encourages kids to make choices and set limits on the amount of less-than-healthy foods they eat. It helps them pause and think through what they will eat during the day, and gives them an opportunity to think ahead and practice decision-making skills with eating.

As parents, we know there are endless options for FUN FOODS throughout the day. Eliminating FUN FOODS all together is a recipe for mutiny. Balancing FUN FOODs with GROWING FOODs is really the key to successful, healthy eating.

And kids need to be able to navigate the world of food.  Among the vast variety of FUN FOODS, the 90:10 RULE is a rule to live by for kids. It allows them to be in charge of choosing the FUN FOOD which is most important to them. And it helps them to set their own limits while learning to balance their eating.

For parents who want to know more about the role they can play in managing their kid’s sweets, check out the advice over at Raise Healthy Eaters.

What guidelines do you use to put a positive twist on managing FUN FOODS?

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Did you know that child development influences how well your child eats? Picky eating, copying friends, independence, and risky behaviors are all normal behaviors during the course of childhood. Yes, NORMAL behaviors. Children move through these predictable and often frustrating phases as they grow into adulthood.

Yet, many parents find themselves embattled and struggling with their child, particularly with feeding and eating.

Messy eating is a normal part of child development

Why the Struggle and Strife?

Parents are missing out on information about typical childhood development. Not only are they missing this information, child development hasn’t been tied to eating behaviors or highlighted as a driving force behind eating. But child development is an important piece to the puzzle of feeding kids and kids’ eating.

Parents Need to Know What is on the Road Ahead.

And that’s what this series is all about: helping you get a handle on what to expect during each of your child’s developmental phases and most importantly, how it effects your child’s eating, the way you feed him, and his overall well-being.

In this series I will present each stage of child development, starting with infancy, moving through toddlerhood and school-age, and ending with adolescence.  I will move sequentially through the stages, helping you understand how each developmental stage builds upon the next. And I will show you the ties that bind development and eating so that you can figure out the mysteries behind food preferences, desires and behaviors.

School-age children are ready to learn skills in the kitchen

Why Am I Convinced this is Need-to-Know Information for Parents?

Knowledge provides insight. Knowing what to expect and what is normal during each development stage will help you respond to your child in a positive and healthy manner. For example, when you know a tornado is coming, you prepare your home, take cover and weather the storm in a relatively relaxed manner. This knowledge allows you to respond appropriately– this bodes true for feeding your child through the expected storms of childhood development, as well.

Knowledge provides opportunity. Knowing what to expect lets you grasp opportunities to teach and promote your child’s skills. Knowing where your child sits along the spectrum of development will help you decide when it is best to begin and advance cooking skils, how and what to teach about nutrition and allow for independent food choices. And it will also help you be realistic–if you expect your preschooler to bake a cake, you may be frustrated and disappointed. Likewise, if you hold back the school-age child who wants to bake, he may be frustrated with you!

Knowledge minimizes negative interactions. Sometimes, parents and children do struggle. In this series, I will also give you some pearls of wisdom for how to interact with your child in a developmentally-sensitive manner. All in the hopes of equipping you with foresight and knowledge so that you can remain level-headed and calm, and frustration can be minimized for all.

We all know what happens when you’re not prepared or don’t have a sense of what is normal…you may panic!  And panic can lead to rash decisions, knee-jerk reactions and negative interactions with your child. We want to keep things positive, especially around food and eating.

Navigate Nutrition Successfully.

This requires knowing your child’s development and how it is affecting their eating. While some of these normal developmental stages will still feel frustrating at times, it’s how you respond and handle them which is your barometer for success.

I hope you will feel equipped with your new knowledge: able to recognize that some behaviors are simply normal, handle the difficult ones with positivity… and be ready for the next barrage of behaviors.

Stay tuned for the first part of the series: Your Child’s Development: Infancy!

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