Parenting the Picky Eater

by mallix

Is there a picky eater at your dinner table? If so, you are not alone in fighting these mealtime battles. Several studies show that one out of every five preschoolers is considered a picky eater, which is the reason why many parents worry if their child is getting the adequate nutrition he or she needs for healthy growth and development.

Most children go through this phase of being a picky eater because experiencing foods of different texture, color and tastes can be frightening. Young children are used to consistency and familiarity, so it can be challenging when introducing nutritious foods to finicky eaters. That is why it is important for parents to educate their children on the rights and wrongs of healthy eating and having a balanced diet.

Consider these tips to help tame your picky eater:
Take some time to plan weekly menus. Putting a little thought and planning into mealtimes generally yields big health advantages. It also gives you and your family an opportunity to try new recipes and be adventurous! Be sure to include healthy amounts of fruits and vegetables.
Don’t forget to involve children in planning, shopping and preparing meals. Use these activities to understand children’s food preferences. At the grocery store, ask your child to help you select fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods. At home, encourage your child to help you rinse veggies, stir batter or set the table.
Make it fun. Cut foods into various shapes, try veggies and fruits with various dipping sauces and be creative.
Lead by example. Showing an example of proper eating habits is important. Instead of commenting on foods being bad or good, you need to show your child good eating habits by example.
Be patient with new foods. When introducing a new food to your child, you may need to expose the new food up to 10 times before they accept it. So be patient, changes are easier for children to handle if they are made slowly.
Stick to the routine. Serve meals and snacks at about the same times every day. If your child comes to the table hungry, they are more motivated to eat.
Respect your child’s appetite. Young children tend to eat only when they’re hungry. If your child isn’t hungry, don’t force a meal or snack.
Don’t forget. Remember to praise children when they do make healthy choices.

If you are concerned that picky eating is jeopardizing your child’s growth, consult your child’s pediatrician. In the meantime, remember that your child’s eating habits will not change overnight. Taking one step at a time can lead to a lifetime of healthy eating habits. Set the tone in your household by making healthy eating a rule as well as a practice!

Samantha Gluck is a freelance writer specializing in various topics including pediatric healthcare, OB/GYN healthcare, business and much more.

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What Would Make Parenting Easier?

Lack of sleep in young children has been linked to later obesity. A study published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine examined data on approximately 2,000 children and found infants and toddlers who slept less than 10 hours a night were almost twice as likely to go from normal weight to overweight or overweight to obese in 5 years. Unfortunately, naps don’t compensate for deep sleep; and lack of deep sleep causes a decrease in the production of the hormones leptin and ghrelin and that stimulates appetite. Considering children’s increasing obesity rates, they may not be getting enough time to “sleep off” future weight problems.

Lack of sleep is also bad for teenagers’ diets. A study of 240 teenagers ages 16-19 published in the journal Sleep found teens who average less than 8 hours of sleep on weeknights tended to eat more fatty foods and high-calorie snacks – a pattern leading to weight gain. Researchers hypothesize the reduced production of leptin and ghrelin from lack of sleep is responsible for this too. It seems teenagers would be healthier if they slept the 9 hours recommended by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine while “visions of sugar plumbs danced in their heads”.

Secondhand smoke is bad for children too. Although the federal government set a goal of having only 12% of Americans smoking by 2010, 20% still smoke. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention examined blood samples from more than 1,300 children and reported more than 50% of children ages 3-11 show signs in their blood of secondhand smoke exposure. Such exposure makes children more susceptible to pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma and decreased lung function. The fact that the majority of exposure occurs in the children’s own homes unfortunately gives new meaning to the word “smokehouse”.

However, if there are sisters in the house, that’s good for their siblings’ mental health. According to a study published in the Journal of Family Psychology, sisters help adolescent siblings handle depression. Researchers looked at 10- to 14-year-olds in 395 families and found this positive influence existed regardless of age difference or birth order; and as long as there was affection, it existed in spite of fighting. Researchers think a sister’s presence is more effective in dealing with depression because girls are more willing than boys to discuss emotions. Maybe the day will come when Philadelphia is known as the “City of Sisterly Love”.


Knight Pierce Hirst has written for television, newspapers and greeting cards. Now she is writing a 400-word blog 3 times a week. Knight Watch is a second look at little new items that make life more interesting and take only seconds to read at


Parenting in the Early Period

We can’t deny that it is not easy to be a parent. It is not a joke rearing kids to be better people in the future. You must chase kids around and save up for yourself as well as for them and their future. Indeed this is not a game people are getting into; it is a job that should not be taken for granted.

Parenting in itself is hard work, but having to experience this at an early age is even harder. There are a lot of things to remember if you are a young parent. Here are some of the few things that could help you get through it.

•    Remember that it’s time you forget yourself a bit and learn to take care of other people. When you are single, you are used to pampering yourself and doing everything for your own sake. Now that you are a parent, you should look after your child all the time. You are not single anymore, so be more responsible especially with your child.

•    Budget wisely before giving birth. Having a baby is quite costly. You have to buy milk, which costs a lot, diapers, and all the other things babies need. You should start saving way before your tummy is big already. Prioritize the needs before your wants.

•    Keep in mind that the stability of your family is very important. This is very essential for the emotional growth of your family, plus it helps for the economic stability. Fix issues first so you yourself will be ready to plunge into the hard work that is taking care of your child while being emotionally stable.

•    If you’re a teenager and your parents are frustrated about what had just happened, take note that they are your parents and they will always forgive you. This will help you emotionally too, because you can’t take care of your babies while you are still depressed.

•    The most important thing that you should remember is never deprive your child of his wants and needs. Even if you are tired from an awful day, always give your child what he needs.

Parenthood is anything but easy, but that does not mean it should be avoided. Almost everyone will go through this in their lives, and although it is really hard, especially for young parents, people will find parenting very rewarding and fulfilling.

A full time disc jockey by profession. Writing is her passion. She is motivated by her failures in life and now she’s inspired to live life to it’s best with her son and beau.

Parenting With Rheumatoid Arthritis

by ericwg

Rheumatoid Arthritis affects around 0.8% of the UK population. The majority of those affected will be female and most will be diagnosed between the ages of 30 and 50. Given these figures, it is no wonder that the question of how to parent with Rheumatoid Arthritis often comes up.

Here is my quick guide to Parenting with Rheumatoid Arthritis:

Talk to your children
It can be difficult finding the right words to explain to your children why you are no longer able to do the things you used to, but the alternative leaves children confused and worried. Don’t make a big deal of it, but find some time to sit down with your child and discuss your diagnosis. Remember to use age appropriate terms and listen to your child’s worries and fears. A great way to involve your children is to let them try out your aids – if you have a wheelchair let them sit in it, if you have wrist splints let them try them on. Above all, remind your children that although life has changed, your love for them never will. A visit to the library can be a good source of age appropriate books on disability.

Take advantage of the good days
With Rheumatoid Arthritis you will have good days and bad days. Unfortunately, predicting which day will be which is pretty impossible. Be spontaneous! On a good day, ditch your boring plans and visit the seaside or take a walk.

Forget the cleaning
How would you like your children to remember their childhood? As one filled with cleaning or one filled with play? Save your energy for the important things in life.

Introduce film night
If your children are a bit older then a film night can be a good way of getting a bit of rest. With all of the family sat around the TV, you can put your feet up without feeling guilty. Alternatively take them to the cinema and enjoy a quick 40 winks.

Enlist older children
If you have older children then enroll their help – a helping hand opening jars or turning keys will make life so much easier. Don’t feel guilty about it, you’ll be teaching them a valuable lesson about compassion and family responsibility.

Don’t be afraid to buy arthritis aids
The thought of buying arthritis aids can be scary – somehow making your diagnosis more final. Don’t let this put you off, there are some great aids out there which will massively improve your life. A pretty cane, a jar opener for the kitchen or a funky coloured wrist splint will do wonders for your confidence.

Finally, ask for help
Rheumatoid Arthritis is often called the “invisible disease”. Often you don’t look ill and unless your swelling is particularly bad you may struggle to impress upon friends and family just how difficult everyday tasks can be. It’s hard to ask for help, but even something as small as asking a neighbour to help put the rubbish out can be a real achievement. Remember, you didn’t ask for this disease.

Angela Lown is business owner of A rheumatoid arthritis sufferer herself she has three children and is committed to raising the profile of arthritis in the young.

Foster Care and Foster Parenting

Foster parenting can be a rewarding experience for both you and the child placed with you. Providing foster care is a practice that has been around since biblical times, but in the early 1900’s fostering became a part of a professional team working to find permanency for dependent children.

Social services soon became involved and began working to place children in appropriate homes for stability. Any information concerning the child is collected and kept on file. This way the individual needs of the child are considered when a placement for them occurs.

Qualifications Required to be a Foster Parent

In order to be considered as a foster parent, you must first complete an application for a family home license. This also involves a criminal back ground check along with finger printing for each adult member of the household.

You must be 21 years of age and you must also show family stability. This is estabilished through a home study conducted by your local social services department. The home study consists of a home inspection, personal interviews, and character references.

You are also required to take and pass pre-service training. Once these steps are completed, a family home license can be issued.

What is Pre-Service Training?

Most states require a number of hours of training to become licensed. The hours required for training varies from state to state and can be anywhere from 6 to 30 hours. The courses usually consisit of basic foster care, and safety. Check with your local social service departments for the requirements in your state.

Why Choose Foster Parenting?

Are you loving and compassionate? Many of the children placed in foster care are victims of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. They will require special attention and care.

Some children are from families unable to care for them for a variety of reasons, drug abuse, poor, neglect, etc. They may have separation issues and also require special attention and care.

No matter what the situation, all the children placed in foster care need a family that is willing to help them work through their individual issues and accept them as human beings.

Being a foster parent can be extremely rewarding. Children that are in foster homes and recieve the proper care required can grow to be loving caring adults. You will reep the rewards by seeing these individuals learn to live in a family situation that loves and cherishes them. All children need love and understanding to grow.

Yes, being a foster parent is a 24/7 job that has it’s ups and downs, but with the proper support offered by local social service agencies and a loving, caring environment it can be very rewarding.

Check with your local social service agency to find out the requirements in your state and consider giving these children the loving home that they deserve.

If you are looking to adopt and are seeking a less expensive root, you may want to consider this option. We did!

Connie McKenzie is a part-time work at home mom. She has two beautiful adopted girls and a wonderful husband. My site offers foster care and adoption information, as well as lots of useful resources for those wishing to adopt a child. Child Adoption Matters because as her daughter says, “Child adoption does matter, mommy!

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The Case Against Over Parenting

I read an delightful article the other day in the November 30th edition of Time Magazine with the title of “Can These Parents Be Saved?” In this article, it argues that parents have gone too far in the bid to make sure their kids are safe. Dubbed “helicopter parents”, this article describes parents who hover over every move that their children make, jumping up to save them before a child can hurt themselves in any way. With behaviours like advocating for removal of school playgrounds because their children might fall and get hurt to purchasing knee pads for babies who are learning to crawl and walk, many parents are going way overboard.

All I have to say is “THANK YOU Time Magazine!” In my book I talk about the damage that this over-protecting can do to our children. Our brains develop and grow based on experiences that we have. The neurons in our brains make connections and develop as we go through our lives, and the fuel for these connections is experience.

I will never forget, early in my career as a restaurant manager there was a waitress that worked for me who was consistently late, rude to customers, and would often call in sick for her shifts. One day she was arguing with a customer about the difference between what he thought he ordered and what was in front of him. When she used some colourful language to describe his resemblance to the back end of a donkey, I decided that I had had enough and fired her on the spot. The next day, this waitress’s father took it upon himself to come and visit me at the restaurant to tell me how I had made the wrong decision. He demanded that I hire her back. The waitress was 23 years old. And daddy came to save her.

This moment has stuck with me for all of these years because I was blown away that a woman of 23 could not come and do the same thing for herself. She had apparently never learned to do this on her own. I will often ask parents, “When do you plan on letting your kid grow up and learn how to deal with a little frustration? When you are dead? It’s a little late then, don’t you think?” It is imperative as parents that we find ways of allowing our children the opportunity to learn about the realities of life and allow them to have to deal with the pain of life. Most of us have had our hearts broken at some point in life, so why are we trying to stop our sons and daughters from dating that loser who we know will crush them? Because we don’t want them to get hurt? Give me a break! The last time I checked, nobody on this planet has a “FRAGILE. Handle with care” sticker plastered on them anywhere. It is time to let go folks or we are going to have a generation of “teacups who break at the slightest amount of pressure”.

For more articles like this, or to schedule a private session with Jay Timms, visit us at

Template For Parenting Plans

Your parenting plan, or custody agreement, is the final product of your custody case. This is the plan that is accepted by the courts and by the parents as the rule book for your custody situation. It outlines the times that the children are with each parent, the holidays that the children spend with each parent, and any other information that relates to child custody. If you are creating a parenting plan, here is a template that you can follow to make sure you have everything you need.

The first thing to think about is the custody and visitation schedule. This is the calendar that you will follow that outlines when the children are with each parent. Start your schedule with a basic, rotating cycle of custody. Add the holidays to the calendar and put in any vacation time. You also need to think about how you want to handle summer and winter breaks (if your child is at school). The basic schedule may change during those times to even out the time that the children spend with both parents.

Along with the custody schedule, you need to think about the particulars about how the drop offs and pick ups will go. This is important to include in your parenting plan so that each parent and the children know exactly what to expect. If you and the other parent get along reasonably well, you may have the parent who is taking the kids come and pick them up–or the other parent drop them off. Or, perhaps it would be easier for you to pick a location in the middle and have both parents meet there. Figure out what works for you.

Also, come up with the terms for changing the schedule. Are you and the other parent more flexible with the schedule? If there are changes do you trust each other enough to let the other parent know? Can you arrange for different visitation if something comes up? Decide together how rigid the arrangement is. It may be better for you to have a general guideline for visitation or it may be necessary to have the exact times and places set in stone.

The last part of the template is to consider any provisions you want to include. You can have provisions that state each parent will have the kids wear seat belts in the care. Or, perhaps you want to include a provision that states the parent has to notify the other parent if they want to sign the children up for extra-curricular activities that will infringe on the parent’s visitation time. Think through some rules for your custody situation and include those in your plan.

If you and the child’s other parent get along, you will be able to discuss and make these decisions together. If you don’t get along, you will need to have this plan prepared for court. Either way, following this parenting plan template should get you started on your custody agreement.

Discover how Custody X Change offers you the best parenting plan template and find out more information about creating winning parenting plans.

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Parenting Kids and Teens

How can we parent our kids and teens better? I think the answer lies in allowing our kids to have more choices, not fewer. We want to empower our kids and teens to make better choices for themselves, and this does not happen by wrapping them up in a cocoon. Here’s an example of something that hopefully will cause you to rethink some of your parenting strategies:

My mother and her sister were both given cigarettes at age six and eleven. Mum will not smoke now but her sister became a chain smoker from that experience. I think their father made a huge mistake, nevertheless he was trying to put them off smoking and knew no other way. Imagine if he had done what I have done with my teenagers:

I have always said to my kids, if you ever want to try out smoking, just let me know and we will sit down together so you can try one. Now, hear me out. This is my logic. The child who wants to try a cigarette will try one regardless of whether you agree or not. If you say no they will simply do it behind your back. That’s what kids do.

What if you were to let your child know that it is OK to want to try it out, but that you would prefer them to try it out in your presence? Doing this takes away the peer pressure that most kids face nowadays, leaving your child to make an educated choice without any pressure from anyone. Don’t you see the value in that?

The goal of parenting is to help your children learn to make great choices in life and when their friends are not pressuring them, they have the best chance to do this. Parents, you need to let your child know that it is OK to want to have a cigarette, but that they should bring their request to you. Believe me, this will save you from heart ache.

Parents need to control the environment as much as possible. I have three teenage boys and I have asked them to come to me should they ever wish to smoke a cigarette. I would then go out and buy the strongest available cigarette and watch them try smoking one.

I know it sounds weird but the safest place to try something like this is definitely with mum or dad. When you show your child or teenager that it is OK to want to try it, they will be less likely to go ahead with it. None of my boys have asked me to smoke with them yet and I have a funny feeling they won’t want to because I have empowered them in this area. It is no longer a big deal to them because I said they can try it out if they are curious.

The moral of the story? Try real hard not to forbid things that your child wants to do, rather channel them to do it in front of you so that you can supervise. Now that is great parenting of kids and teens.

Kim Patrick is a single mum with four children who lives on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, Australia. She is a parent coach, seminar speaker and author of the book “Get Your Child To Behave In 30 Days Or Less”.
Kim also created the “Sleeping Angels” CD series, aimed at facilitating a behavioral change in children while they are sleeping. Her web site is

What is Natural Parenting

Many people use the term natural parenting but few offer an explanation of what it is and why it is beneficial. Parenting is something that has been around since humans were first born and has been instinctual for the same amount of time up until the last few centuries. Natural parenting is a way of parenting to the way nature first intended, the way we we biologically evolved to do it.

So why is this better than our current way, because we have evolved over thousands of years. Whether you are religious or not, the way we naturally parent is the best way for us and more and more studies are now pointing to this fact. We were meant to be in close proximity to our parents, we were meant to be breastfed, we were designed to live in nature.


Breastfeeding is the natural way newborns should be fed and it is recommended that they are exclusively breastfed up to 6 months and a newborns gut is not ready for solids. If you can imagine thousands of years ago, a baby was ready for solids when they could reach out and put food in their mouth. There was no parent there with a spoon and jar of baby food. The baby would breastfeed until it was able to eat solids on its own. Of course this food was still provided by the community they lived in.

Attachment Parenting

Attachment Parenting is exactly as it sounds, being attached to your newborn almost all of the time. This involves carrying around the baby all day, co-sleeping, gentle discipline and making sure that their every need is met. Remembering that newborns are new to the world and know nothing more than what they see, hear and feel. Being constantly attached to them assures them they are safe in this world and it translates to a more confident child in the future.

Cloth Diapers

Nappies or diapers are something that come into a lot of focus when your new one arrives. Cloth is better for the environment and better for the baby. Cloth diapers are made of natural fabrics and are less likely to cause diaper rash. They are also reusable so even with the amount of energy used in washing them it still is far more environmentally friendly than disposables.

Elimination Communication

Going diaper free from birth may seem like a silly prospect but it is possible to understand when your baby needs to go and be ready to hover them over a potty or toilet. This means no diapers at all and the most natural way. I would ensure to do extensive research on this topic before attempting at home.

Community Support

Parenting was never meant to be done alone and as many parents who do it be themselves can tell you its very exhausting. Having family and friends to help is not a sign of weakness it is in fact the easiest and best way to raise children.

Go to Natural Parenting Tips for heaps of more parenting tips, advice and information.

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Good Parenting is More Than Luck

I’ve had so many people admire my relationship with my son Orion and wish they shared the honesty, closeness, and trust with their own child or parents. Others praise the close relationship I have with my daughter-in-law Nichola. They wish they could be so lucky and fortunate. Grandparents long for the time and quality relationship Doug and I share with our grandson Sebastian.

Parents who come to me for coaching feel uncertain or powerless when it comes to creating a joyous relationship with their child. Mothers come to me feeling overwhelmed with what feels like an impossible situation with their child.

Instead of trust and closeness, families often experience deep resentment and hard feelings between parents and their children, especially as their child matures into adolescence and adulthood and they become more aware of their true feelings toward their parents and the way they were raised as children.

The relationships with in-laws, especially mothers-in-law, are notorious for their difficulty. In fact, relationships with mothers-in-law often separate children from their own parents.

It can look like luck and good fortune when you don’t know what’s gone into making a joyous family happen. Over the last 33 years, I’ve focused on essential guidelines to create the relationship I now share with Orion and his family.

I promise you. What we have did not occur by chance. It has taken conscious communication and a deep willingness and desire on everyone’s part to share the trust, honesty, love and joy we now have as a family.

You can do something beginning today. These close, delightful relationships begin with the emotional foundation you create when your child is born (I would even say before your child is born) and continue throughout your lifetime.

Here are four quick tips to empower you to share the joy and love you most desire with your child. These tips will help keep you from wasting precious time as the years go speeding by.

If you want to begin to take action now to create a joyous relationship with your child that will last a lifetime, here are some things I’ve done to create what I share with our kids.

1. Make your emotional connection with your child one of your highest priorities. Nothing has a greater, more positive impact in your relationship and in your child’s success and joy in life.

When you share a positive emotional connection, you have a tremendous positive impact in your child’s life. He wants to be with you, even when he is a teen and into adulthood. He trusts you and looks to you for guidance in times of uncertainty and hardship. You all pull together and work together as an honest, deeply trusting family.

2. Understand what’s happening with your child emotionally. Without this, you can mistakenly believe you’re on track and miss your child entirely. Too often parents believe everything is okay, only to painfully discover in adolescence and adulthood, the lack of true understanding they had with their child.

This is one of the biggest challenges for parents. As a culture, we don’t know a lot about our emotions and how to create authentic, trusting relationships with our children or our spouse. With this information, you have a deeply positive effect on your child and life she creates for herself.

3. Admire your child for the unique and amazing person she is. Admiration and appreciation help her to flourish and to feel loved. She sees her beauty mirrored back to her in your eyes.

4. Honesty is always the best policy. Without this, your child knows on a deep level that he cannot trust you. Mutual trust and respect is the firmest foundation you can create with your child.

You Are in the Driver’s Seat Whether You Know It or Not

I’ve created a powerful, trusting loving relationship with my now 33-year-old son Orion, daughter-in-law Nichola and grandson Sebastian using these and other essential principles. There is nothing more important to me than my relationship with them. They bless Doug’s and my life daily. Such a delightful joy to cherish what we have all created together!

You can have this with your child also. The choice is yours. Life will always bring changes filled with new opportunities and challenges. The only way to get through these with a renewed and stronger connection with your child of any age is to create a relationship of honest, open trust, love, and regard for one another. One that nurtures your child’s and your own Emotional Wholeness.

If you want more harmony with your child both now and in the future, develop a joyous emotional foundation with your child starting today. It is never too late to begin, no matter how old your child. Your heart will be profoundly touched by the closeness you create.

Copyright 2009 Connie Allen

Connie Allen, M.A. of Joy with Children. Connie helps parents and educators who are unsure how to best empower their child. . For information on how you can nurture the joyous inner spirit of children, subscribe to her free e-newsletter Visit her blog at