Parenting expert Elizabeth Pantley returns to offer parents of picky eaters advice on how to encourage their children to eat healthfully and learn to love nutritious foods at any age. While all parents know that their child should eat their vegetables, stay away from junk food and soda, and focus on fruits and vegetables, the reality is that in today's hectic world fast food is convenient, few moms and dads feel they have time to cook well-balanced, organic, or healthy foods, and it is easier to give in to a child's demands for microwave chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese from the blue box than force them to eat whole wheat pasta, green beans, and free-range chicken. But Pantley has arrived on the scene to offer simple, easy-to-implement strategies that any family can use to improve their child's diet.
Part one explains what parents need to know about nutrition, children's eating habits, the dangers of poor food choices, what is normal for a child's diet, and why it is important to stop finicky habits. Much of this information is common sense and there is very little that most parents will not already know. Most moms know kids need to focus on fruits and vegetables, that soda is bad, that white sugar and unhealthy carbs should be avoided, and that high-fat foods and desserts should be a rare treat instead of an everyday occurrence.
Part two provides essential information that will help parents create a healthy meal plan for their child and learn what a typical diet should look like for toddlers and preschoolers, with tables and charts, simple rules, and suggestions for common rules that can, and should, be broken. Pantley also offers suggestions on how to implement small changes that can make a big difference in a child's diet and help them start to expand their culinary choices and learn to eat, and even enjoy, healthier foods.
Part three offers the real meat and potatoes of the book. It is chock full of tips, sneaky suggestions, and simple tactics that parents can use to convince even the most hard-core picky eater to change their ways. Pantley addresses the most common behaviors and challenges, with several ideas for dealing with each of them. There is something that is sure to work for even the most stubborn child! Some of the topics she covers are dealing with a child who will only eat a few specific (and often unhealthy) foods, sneaking fruits and vegetables into a child's diet, helping a child who refuses to eat certain foods or textures, making mealtime a family affair, stopping excessive snacking, avoiding complaints that there is too much food, and refusing to try new foods.
Part four includes recipes for delicious, healthy, kid-friendly foods from various cookbook authors. The recipes look simple and many are easy enough that children can be involved in the cooking process, giving parents another way to encourage picky children to take an interest in what they are eating.
While The No-Cry Picky Eater Solution: Gentle Ways to Encourage Your Child to Eat—and Eat Healthy included a lot of information that I already knew about how children, and families as a whole, should eat, it offered a lot of valuable suggestions to help me figure out ways to get my family, which includes one very picky eight-year-old boy, to start eating. I am eager to try out some of Pantley's solutions and hope her advice will get us started down the road to healthier, happier family meals!
Thanks to StorkNet moderator Tracey M for writing this review!
• The No-Cry Picky Eater Solution: Gentle Ways to Encourage Your Child to Eat—and Eat Healthy at Amazon.com
• The No-Cry Picky Eater Solution: Gentle Ways to Encourage Your Child to Eat—and Eat Healthy at Amazon UK
• The No-Cry Picky Eater Solution: Gentle Ways to Encourage Your Child to Eat—and Eat Healthy at Amazon Canada