Eating is an incredibly complex process that can be challenging for our young ones, especially if they are picky eaters. If your child is a picky eater, it is important for you to identify the causes so that you may help her overcome this problem.
1. Oral-motor development
A child is only able to eat food when she is developmentally ready. Forcing and coercing your child to try new foods when she does not know how to manage it in her mouth will lead to your child refusing to eat and attempting everything in her power to avoid the eating experience.
2. Food neophobia
Food neophobia or a fear of new and novel foods is a developmental stage for children between two and three years of age. A young child who is transitioning to adult foods will be offered a variety of new foods and it is during this period that some may reject and exhibit fear of the new food.
3. Environmental factors
The environment that we are living in today may pose unforeseen “threats”, such as chaotic work schedules, numerous school activities and meals in front of the television. These will create unpredictable mealtime schedules and unfavourable meal settings that may contribute to problems with eating in our children.
4. Learnt behaviour
Children often do what parents do, but not what they say. If you are a picky eater yourself, chances of your child picking up the problem is quite high.
When your child turns one, the struggle for autonomy and independence may likely contribute to the picky eater phenomenon. Any new food experience can become a power struggle between parent and child. Some picky eaters will decide they do not like something or they will like it at one time and next time they won’t even touch it.
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