Dr. Donna Perillo, DC, MS, NMD, CNS, is the owner and director of the Chiropractic Healing Center of NJ, a wellness center incorporating chiropractic, physical therapy, acupuncture, nutrition, and stress management. Her goal is to help her patients create a happy, healthy and vibrant lifestyle by addressing their physical, emotional, and nutritional needs. Here, she weighs in on a common, frustrating topic for caregiver and child alike—eating, and the often lack of variety in the diet of a child.
It is very common for many children—especially toddlers—to be picky eaters. Sometimes they will get fixated on one or two foods. In general, they want to eat what they see their siblings and parents eat. If their brother or sister is eating a cookie you can’t expect them to eat an apple!
Here are 6 tips you can easily incorporate into your daily routine which will help greatly in improving the nutrition of your child (as well as you and your whole family, too!)
1. Remove junk food from your home. This helps remove the temptation. Remove things like candy, soda, juice, chips, cake and cookies. If it is not there, then they cannot eat it.
2. Offer healthy alternatives. Foods like fruit, vegetables, and nuts (provided there are no nut allergies). Have some fruit and vegetables cut up and ready to eat.
3. Take your children food shopping with you. Having your children pick out healthy foods with you, will encourage them to eat those foods. It gives them a feeling of control and responsibility.
4. Involve your children in cooking their meals. Allowing them to help prepare the meal encourages them to eat the meal. You can also use this time to learn what they like or don’t like.
5. Encourage a variety of different color foods. Have your children associate the colors with the different foods. Plus, different color foods contain different vitamins and minerals.
6. Set an example for your children by eating a healthy diet. Children often mimic their parents as well as their peers. According to an article entitled “Influences on the Development of Children’s Eating Behaviours: From Infancy to Adolescence,” by Dr, Leann Birch, Jennifer S. Savage, and Alison Ventura: “Children learn about food by observing the eating behaviors modeled by others. For example, research reveals that children’s intake of fruits, vegetables, and milk increased after observing adults consuming the foods.35 When children observed the eating behavior of their peers, the effect was similar such that selection and consumption of vegetables increased.36 Thus, positive social modeling is an indirect, yet effective practice for promoting healthier diets in children.”
Available for Interviews: Dr. Donna Perillo
Dr. Donna Perillo is DC, MS, NMD, CNS, is a Doctor of Chiropractic, a Diplomate of the Chiropractic Board of Clinical Nutrition and a Diplomate of the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians. She has been practicing in New Jersey for over 25 years. She helps patients with arthritis, sports injuries, nutrition, dancers, pregnant moms, and children. Other specializations include detox, digestive problems, and stress and anxiety management.
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