Understanding a Child's Eating Habits

With the junk food surrounding your child, it is important to understand their eating habits. See more parenting pictures.
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As your child moves out of the toddler stage and has a more active role in what he eats, you will naturally lose a little of the control you've previously had over your child's diet. While this independence is a natural part of raising a child, it is important that a parent tries to give their child a healthy attitude about food. As obesity becomes an ever-growing problem in children, understanding a child's eating habits and proper nutrition has become more important now than ever. In this article, we will explore you child's growing relationship with the food he eats in the following sections:

  • Teaching a Child Self-Feeding When your child learns how to feed himself, his true dietary independence begins. On this page, we will tell you what you need to know about this important phase in your baby's development. We will show you the signs that you child might be getting read to self-feed, and show you the three steps of learning to self-feed -- the transitional period, the modified adult period, and the toddler period. We will also show you what are the best snacks to give your child during these various stages to encourage them to feed themselves.
  • Instilling Good Eating Habits in a Child Once children are able to feed themselves you will have virtually no control of what they can eat when you're not around. This is why it is important to attempt to instill good eating habits in your child at young age. In this section, we will give you some advice for giving your child a positive and healthy attitude toward food. In particular, we will focus on salt and sugar -- two elements of a healthy diet that can be detrimental if eaten in excess.
  • Obesity and Children One of the most alarming health epidemics in the country today is the rate of obesity in teens and young children. Obesity can lead to type 2 diabetes and many more health complications later in life. There are, however, steps a parent can take -- even when the child in an infant -- that can set patterns that will discourage obesity as your child grows older. We will give you some suggestions to develop these patterns, as well as give you some guidelines for when you should be concerned that your child is becoming obese.
  • How to Deal With a Child Who is a Picky Eater Children can become picky eaters for a variety of reasons. Some children feel that the food they take into their bodies is one of the few areas they alone can control and assert some independence from their parents. Some children may just like to indulge their favorite foods and reject new tastes and textures. Regardless of the reason, in this section, you will find several tips to stop your child from becoming a picky eater. We will also caution you against the inclination to use food as a reward with your child.