Your 6-year-old: Picky eaters

Your 6-year-old: Picky eaters

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Your 6-year-old now

Handling picky eater issues requires the same matter-of-fact, low-pressure strategy that's effective for other behavioral challenges like power struggles and defiance. No arguing, no raised voices. Put the food on the table – healthy options, of course – without dwelling on it.

Try to have at least one thing you think your child will eat, and then let her choose what, and how much, to eat. If it's only bread, so be it. Your child won't starve or die of malnutrition. The goal is to avoid introducing a lot of emotion surrounding food.

There's also a legitimate scientific reason for kids' dietary fussiness. They have more taste buds than we do (taste buds die as we age), so flavors are more intense. That may be why your child turns up her nose at spicy flavors and vegetables like broccoli. (And some people – supertasters – have more sensitive taste buds than others.)

Try serving veggies steamed or cooked with a little sauce or butter. Sweeter options like red peppers, sweet potatoes, and carrots may be more popular than chard or broccoli. Know, too, that kids who eat with their families instead of alone have been shown to eat more healthfully.

Your life now

Feeling like you have no time for your own interests? Try this exercise: Make a list of 50 things you love to do. Keep at it until you complete the whole list of 50. Look for patterns among the items: Crafts? Reading? Sports? Pick one activity in one of your top categories and decide you'll spend time at it this month. Read a best-selling novel? Take a tai chi class? A baby step of just couple of hours a month is a small time commitment – but a big step toward reclaiming a bit of your old self.

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