Why Parents Who Don’t Stress Over Picky Eaters Are Winning Dinnertime

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We want our children to be healthy and have balanced nutrition. We also want to know our efforts in the kitchen haven’t been a total waste.
But figuring out how to best accomplish those goals can sometimes prove harder than we ever thought it would be.
The options
This is a parent-centered style of eating. Mom and Dad make all the rules, and the child is expected to comply. It doesn’t matter if the child is full or has a true aversion to one of the options currently on their plate.
The child gets no say in how much of each food option they’re allowed. Parents force their child to clean their plate or take a set number of bites before they’re allowed to leave the table or have a dessert.
This style veers more into child-centered feeding. Parents allow the child to have anything they want to eat whenever they want it. Perhaps a parent says, “You want McDonald’s for dinner tonight? Great, let’s go!” or “Cookies for breakfast? Sure, why not!”
There are no boundaries or rules. Instead, the child is allowed to lead the way.
Parents following this style may also be more likely to reward good behavior, performance, or grades with food, such as ice cream for scoring a goal or cake for earning straight A’s.
Parents who embrace a neglectful feeding style are generally uninvolved in their child’s food choices. They may not shop for food regularly or actively put meals on the table.
When they do prepare a meal for their child, it can be sporadic and unexpected. Most of the time, children raised in this feeding style have to learn to fend for themselves.