Recovery Rehabs

How Parents Can Influence Their Child’s Eating Habits

It is estimated that 34.3 percent of American children eat at a fast food restaurant on any given day with their parents. As the old saying goes, “Do as I say and not as I do,” but parents know their children will inevitably follow their example and not their directions.

When it comes to nutrition and providing your child what they need to grow, develop and thrive even into adulthood, you must start early.

The first five years

As infants, children do not have learned food preferences. They are born predisposed to sweet flavors. Because taste preferences are developed during infancy, it can be a struggle for parents to help children establish a taste for healthy foods during the first five years of life.

Kelley Scanlon, an epidemiologist at the Center for Disease Control and the senior author of recent research on eating habits of children notes that when children didn’t eat fruits and vegetables as infants, they don’t eat them when they’re 6, either.

This may be why many young children reject vegetables like carrots and broccoli. If your child refuses healthy food choices like vegetables, it won’t necessarily always be that way. But during the early years, parents need to cater to the developing palates of their child.

Let your child refuse what they don’t want

As parents, it’s easy to become frustrated as your child continues to push nutritious meal after meal away. However, it is very important to the development of their long-term eating habits that you do not reprimand them for refusing any foods as they may learn to dislike that food permanently as a result.

Your response to their food preferences is important, and it is vital that you understand that the first five years of a child’s life are a rapid time of both physical growth and change. These are the years that serve as a foundation for an entire lifetime of healthy eating habits.

It is vital for parents to to set the stage for healthy food acceptance as early as pregnancy. An infant can learn to enjoy the taste, smell and flavor of vegetables, grains and even bitter herbs. Scientists call this early experience a “flavor bridge” as it a time when fetuses familiarize themselves with the maternal diet. This type of healthy eating behavior development when started early, can last a lifetime. Your child will thank you with their lasting health and vitality.

Did you know an addiction can be caused by a mental disorder?

One of the primary reasons that mental disorders and substance abuse so often go hand-in-hand is that drugs and alcohol can provide an escape from the pressures of mental health problems. Self-medicating is surprisingly common: you’re not alone.

But unlike real, effective, long-term solutions, such as medication and detoxification in a treatment center, drugs and alcohol won’t amount to effective treatment.

If you suspect that your loved one is suffering from addiction, then take our free 3 minute assessment.

Recovery Rehabs

Recovery Rehabs is the nation’s go-to resource for guidance on treatment and recovery from all types of addiction and substance abuse. Recovery Rehabs is passionate about educating you with up-to-date mental health and addiction news, as well as connecting you with the information and the treatment programs and facilities you need.
Recovery Rehabs

Frequently Asked Questions

Simply put, you can regain your personal freedom--and your life. Professional care can eliminate your dependency and set you toward lifelong recovery, glowing health, social normalcy, and liberation from an addictive lifestyle. To get there, you have plenty of options, and our experts can explain exactly what they are--and help you discover which ones are right for you.
Depending on your program, you might stay at an inpatient treatment facility for anywhere from one month to a year, or more. This is all based on the extent of your affliction and the circumstances that surround it. Please give us a call to find out more!
Through inpatient and outpatient treatment programs, you can receive help with any type of addiction—whether it’s a substance dependency or behavioral health issue. Please ask our experts about treatment options.

See all questions