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Ep. 90 - How to Build a Balanced Plate: Successfully Tackling Selective Eating in Children

Jul 06, 2023

In our latest episode, we had the pleasure of sitting down with Dr. Holly Gover, a highly skilled board-certified behavior analyst who specializes in working with children with developmental disabilities. Currently serving as a faculty member in pediatrics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Dr. Gover joins us to address a common concern that many parents face: picky eaters. Throughout our conversation, she shares invaluable insights on how to encourage children to embrace new foods in a relaxed and enjoyable manner, empowering them to take control of their eating choices. Additionally, we explore the warning signs of potential eating disorders and discuss the pressures parents encounter when preparing meals for their families.

Unlocking Essential Strategies:

Going beyond surface-level advice, we delve deeper into three fundamental techniques that have proven effective in transforming picky eaters into adventurous ones. The first technique involves creating a culture of trying, where children are encouraged to explore new flavors and textures without pressure or force. Dr. Gover emphasizes the importance of making the experience enjoyable and empowering for children, allowing them to feel in control of their eating choices.

The second technique focuses on increasing exposure to diverse foods. Dr. Gover explains how gradual exposure, incorporating unfamiliar foods alongside familiar ones, can help children become more comfortable and willing to try new things. By expanding their palate through repeated exposure, children are more likely to develop a broader range of healthy food preferences.

Lastly, we discuss the significance of avoiding mealtime battles. Dr. Gover acknowledges the stress parents often experience when dealing with picky eaters but emphasizes the importance of creating a positive mealtime environment. By reducing pressure, incorporating fun and creativity, and involving children in the meal planning process, parents can promote a healthier relationship with food and minimize mealtime struggles.

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