(CNN) — If you’re frustrated with your child’s picky eating, becoming the food police only makes it worse.
That’s from a new study in the journal Pediatrics which followed parents and their children for five years.
The study shows that demanding that children eat certain foods, or punishing them by restricting foods, does not help.
Instead, the children become even pickier about what they eat.
The authors explain that eating is one of the few things kids have control over.
Pediatricians recommend that you do not demand that children clean their plates or reward them with dessert.
Children do best when introduced to new foods earlier in life.
The experts say some children are just wired to be picky eaters.
Parents are encouraged to try to make mealtime fun and take the pressure off about what kids need to eat.
One of the best practices for parents dealing with picky eaters is to expose children to the food multiple times.
One other positive from the study, picky eaters typically do not have problems with weight gain or body mass index.
If you are at a loss about feeding your kids, there’s no shame in reaching out to a pediatrician or nutritionist for more advice.
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