Winning the food fight

Herald Sun (Aust) September 15, 2009

STRESSED parents are going into battle every mealtime with children who refuse food. Dieticians say the number of children fussy about what they eat has more than doubled in the past decade, forcing many parents to admit they resort to bribery or add sugar to get their child to eat. With a link between learning to chew and developing speech, parents are seeking professional help to conquer the kitchen nightmares. Dietician Kate Di Prima says parents feel they are largely to blame, but there is always a reason children refuse food.

In her latest book, More Peas Please: Solutions for Feeding Fussy Eaters, Ms Di Prima and speech pathologist Dr Julie Cichero reveal the top reasons children refuse food and what parents can do to win over their fussy kids. It is the first book explaining to parents how children chew and swallow, and the psychological reasons behind food aversion. In researching the book, the pair found 79 per cent of parents were stressed at meal times, a quarter admitted to bribing their child to eat food and a quarter reported their child refused to eat slimy or textured food.