Chances are that everybody out there has had a bad experience trying to feed a kid at some point. Whether babysitting, visiting friends with children, working at a restaurant or even just sitting near a kid in a restaurant, I’m pretty sure that we’ve all seen the negatives of picky eating. Parents yelling to eat their vegetables, kids refusing to eat anything but cookies and ice cream – it can be a mess.
Besides being a pain in the ass, being a picky eater as a child can have negative consequences besides getting spanked on the ass. In a healthy diet, variety is key, and fruits and vegetables are often the first things to fall by the wayside. And chances are that the kids favor foods high in sugar and carbohydrates, or that they won’t eat potatoes any way but fried, which leads to obesity and the plethora of well-documented side effects.
So what is a mother to do?
Well, according to recent research published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association by University of Illinois Professor Juhee Kim, they simply can follow the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics when it comes to breast feeding.
By looking at the self-reported statistics from 129 mothers, Kim found that children who were breastfed exclusively for their first six months of life were 81% less likely as preschoolers to reject food, 78% less likely to develop a preference for specific food-preparation methods, and 75% less likely to develop a fear of trying new foods.
I don’t know about you, but it seems to me that those are some pretty high percentages.
But even if life intervened and infants were only breastfed exclusively for the first three months, the numbers still showed that they were less likely to develop picky eating habits.
As Kim put it, “Any amount of breastfeeding was better than nothing.”