By Julia Moravcsik, PhD, author of Teach Your Child to Love Healthy Food OK, you've decided to take the plunge and feed your child nothing but healthy food. You've thrown away all sugary foods -- candy bars, ice cream, granola bars are in the trash. You've stocked up on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and other healthy foods. The frozen kids meals, crackers, and chips are gone.
The day has come. You put a plate of healthy food in front of your child. He doesn't eat it! Never mind, you think, he'll eat the next meal. But no...day after day goes by and your poor darling barely eats anything!
You begin to worry. Maybe your child just doesn't like healthy food. It's better to give him a little junk food than to starve him, isn't it? You begin to waver in your resolve.
Rest assured. It is completely normal for kids to stop eating if they don't get their junk food. Scientists have found that rats will starve themselves if they have become addicted to junk food and the junk food is taken away. Your child is used to getting a high from junk food, just like a cocaine addict does. Normal, healthy food simply doesn't provide that high.
What the article doesn't mention is that after a period of withdrawal, junk-food-addicted rats will start to eat normal food. If you persevere and continue to give your child healthy food, he will start to eat it. And, because he is no longer addicted to junk food, he will actually like the healthy food. It will taste good to him.
Tips and Techniques
Go cold turkey with your child. Remove all junk food and give him healthy food. Expect a period of time where he will not eat very much. This is normal. After a few weeks of withdrawal, your child will emerge with a new palate, uncorrupted by the addiction of junk food.
Would you like a simple, easy-to-follow program that will teach your child to love healthy food? See my new book Teach Your Child to Love Healthy Food on amazon.com.