- Paperback: 208 pages
- Publisher: McGraw-Hill Contemporary (1 Oct. 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0071744363
- ISBN-13: 978-0071744362
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.3 x 21.1 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 519,487 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The No-Cry Picky Eater Solution: Gentle Ways to Encourage Your Child to Eatand Eat Healthy Paperback – 1 Oct 2011
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More About the Author
Elizabeth is the author of several popular parenting books, including the best-selling No-Cry Solution series:
The No-Cry Separation Anxiety Solution
The No-Cry Discipline Solution
The No-Cry Sleep Solution
The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers
The No-Cry Potty Training Solution
The No-Cry Nap Solution
Elizabeth and her husband, Robert are the parents of four children. For more information, excerpts, parenting articles, and contests visit the author's website at http://www.pantley.com/elizabeth
About the Author
Elizabeth Pantley is the mother of four and the author of the now-classic baby sleep book The No-Cry Sleep Solution, as well as The No-Cry Separation Anxiety Solution, The No-Cry Potty Training Solution, The No-Cry Discipline Solution, and six other successful parenting books. Visit her at www.pantley.com/elizabeth
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Top Customer Reviews
The first part was excellent. Her descriptions of a picky eater resembled my child to a T and I was anxious to get on to the 'solution' part of the book as I felt after reading this part that she really understood picky eaters and would be able to help me.
Some of her suggestions are interesting and certainly worth a try but there was very little that I hadn't heard before. I was very disappointed to reach the end of that part without finding any ideas that I really felt we hadn't tried, or that would make a real difference.
I was mostly disappointed though by the recipes at the end. After showing she had a good understanding of how picky eaters work, I can't believe she suggests such recipes including things like casseroles, that I can't imagine any truly picky eater, certainly not my son, would ever entertain.
I realise every child is different and perhaps these ideas and recipes would work for some but I don't feel it has helped my situation at all.
My little boy is three, and despite BLW and being very adventurous at first her has turned into a very picky eater. This book put me at ease as it helped me realise it wasn't anything I had done wrong... it's fairly normal.
Then I started to put some of her ideas into practice.... before I knew it he was eating raw vegetables with dips, fruit slices with dips, trying a forkful of this, a spoonful of that. Now don't get me wrong he is still picky but I feel that at last he is getting a balanced diet which was my wish. He is definitely still picky but he will try things now, about 50% of the time and making a few changes to the way we do things at meal times has made a great difference.
Thank you Elizabeth!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The No Cry Picky Eater Solution covers two "major" areas - the first, how to ensure your child is getting the nutrition they need (with excellent charts on what this is for various age groups - realistic charts that can actually be implemented), the second area, how to increase your child's repertoire of foods they will actually eat.
For the first point, Eliabeth provides ways to increase the nutritional value in what your child will currently eat by hiding healthy items in currently "acceptable" foods, by slowly transitioning into healthier choices (adding 1/3 whole wheat pasta to the standard box of macaroni and cheese), as well as a whole section of recipes (supplied by various authors) on how to add more nutrition to what you are baking or cooking... including wonderful catchy names for these foods - Lord of the Apple Rings & Pink Potatoes.
To the second point... how to increase what your child will actually eat. Elizabeth provides very helpful information on how children develop their sense of taste, how this is developmental and not established at birth - this leads to a different way to conceptualize what the "battle" is actually about and how to approach it. This area was our biggest challenge in our home... we had done the "sneaky" approach of getting nutrition in our son (now 4) but wanted him to "want" the asparagus and other "healthy choices".
Over the last three weeks, we have implemented and used some of the techniques - in the very large section on Tips, Tricks, & Tactics (nearly 70 pages) and have honestly been surprised at the positive results - tasting foods of different texture, shape, colour as well as using this while on vacation which Elizabeth addresses how eating out with children is another separate challenge. An example she uses in the book is how the grilled cheese sandwich at home looks very different at a restuarant... armed with her suggestions, we tested this theory with our son, ordering the always rejected grilled cheese sandwich from the restuarant and used some of her suggestions and amazingly, he not only tried it, but "chose" that he liked it and ate it.
I highly recommend this book to parents who are exhausted, feel they have given up or are about to, and who just want mealtime to not be approached with anxiety, stress, and fights.
Thank you Elizabeth for another wonderful book that is already producing results in areas we had nearly given up on!!
It keeps presenting snippets of studies under the heading "The Shocker!!!". *But* it does it in a misleading manner. It reports that "more than 40% of children do not always eat breakfast". First of all, you need to define "not always". Second, other studies have shown that the probability of skipping breakfast increases with age. This statistic probably over-represents teenagers, and is not relevant to the age group at hand.
The book also repeatedly implies causation when all that is shown is correlation. Teenagers who have family dinners have less sex. I highly doubt that family dinners are the primary cause. More likely there are other factors, e.g. socioeconomic status, family composition, cultural values etc.
Then, the book encourages parents to aspire to feed their children a diet that is not attainable by most adults. Low-fat cheese?! Give me a break. Just today the New York Times had an article on how difficult it is to produce good-tasting low-fat cheese. Also, the book is down on salt, but actually, the jury is still out on salt. A meta-study of many other studies showed that salt does not have much effect on health. So why make food less tasty for already picky eaters by pushing nutritional dogma that is slowly being debunked? Isn't it more important for children to learn to eat a variety of foods rather than stressing at this stage (when high-fat is OK for most healthy, growing kids) about eating out of the health-food section?
The book also seems down on eating out, but the unspoken assumption is that this means going to a fast-food restaurant or an American sit-down chain restaurant. However, if you live in an area with ethnically diverse dining options, and dining out is financially feasible for you, this is a great way for your kid to try lots of new dishes (in one sitting, if everyone orders something different) without your having to sweat over cooking something from scratch only to have it be rejected by your kid.
Finally, it would be nice if the book justified itself when it offered conflicting advice (it's ok to have many different approaches, but can they be referenced to each other?). First it's, 'don't put food on your child's plate, let them put it there themselves', and then 'don't waste time, have the food already on your child's plate before they are seated'. The book also spends some time acknowledging how many kids like their food separated, and then the very first recipe is fried rice with everything mixed together. I'm looking forward to trying these recipes, but it would help if there was more of a selection for 'segregators' (you know, the kids who reject a dish if it has even a speck of green in it).
How This Book Works
This book is divided into four sections:
What You Really Need To Know About Picky Eaters
This section defines what a picky eater is and gives you some reassurance that picky eating is not only normal behavior for kids is part of our biological wiring. For example, kids crave energy dense foods that are easy to break down, (i.e. carbs) to power their rapidly growing brains and bodies as well as their constant motion. Also, bitter flavors can be an indicator of a toxic substance and kids' natural aversion to bitter is a evolutionary protector against ingesting toxic plants. Perhaps this could be used to our advantage, I'm thinking kale flavored crayons and Play-Doh...
This section also contains Food Facts that delineates some of the common problems in our modern diets and offers gentle solutions for rectifying those issues.
The Fundamental Four: Attitude, Environment, Amounts and Rules
Attitude reminds us to keep our eye on long term goals by not waging war on our children each mealtime. Environment reminds us that if we want our children to eat healthy, then our pantries and refrigerators need to be filled with healthy foods and they need to see us enjoying those foods too. Amounts has easy-to-read charts that show daily calorie and nutrition requirements and how to meet them through your child's meals and snacks. The Rules section covers many of the contemporary food rules and whether or not following each is a good idea. Some of them are surprising, such as "Rule: Make your child's diet nutritionally balanced at each meal." (Something I've always strived to do.) Verdict: Break it! Upon reading the logic and research as to why, I think to myself... OhHHhhh...
Tips, Tricks and Tactics: Solving Picky Eater Problems
Now that we the parents are properly educated on the topic of feeding our brood, it's time for the fun stuff! The next 70 pages are filled with fun, gentle ideas for improving your child's overall diet while saving us some grey hair. I've been battling this issue for quite some time so I was doubtful that I'd find anything new. There were perhaps a dozen ideas that had never occurred to me and the ones I had already tried, I found I gave up too soon or could have tried it in a slightly different way. One surprise was learning that a child may need to be exposed to a new food 10 to 15 times before they'll even want to taste it. My daughter was lucky if I'd let her get away without trying a new food on the first day! No wonder she's worried whenever I set down an unfamiliar meal, she's sure I'm going to be pressuring her into eating some. That anxiety and pressure from me is going to ensure she rejects it out of hand. Another ah-ha moment for me. Play it cool... and hamm up the mmmMMMmmm--soo good.
The Experts' Favorites: Recipes Even Your Picky Eater Will Love
This section provides recipes from the authors of seven different kid friendly cookbooks! I plan to try them all except the two by the author whose book I already own. I have picked up the Sneaky Chef cookbook by Missy LaPine no less than a dozen times, during trips to the bookstore, only to put it back on the shelf. Now I can try out a sampling of her recipes before I invest in another would-be doorstop. Thanks Elizabeth!
Prior to reading this book I was frustrated and unwittingly making mealtimes a time for my daughter to feel bad about the choices her biological composition is driving her to towards, by laying on pressure and guilt. I don't think pressure and guilt ever wrought positive changes in anyone, but what else could I do? Lots apparently.
After reading this book I'm easier going about her food choices. I don't make food choices a power struggle anymore, so she's not losing because she's not giving in to me. I'm more conscientious about modeling good eating habits, I'm eating like a grown-up again, instead of eating what I know they'll eat. When she sees us enjoying these foods, she wants to like them and I've noticed that she keeps trying it (yay!) knowing she's missing out on something good. I'm trying to make mealtimes more fun and playful. I make the most out of snacks nutritionally, by giving my girls choices based on what they've been missing that day. For example if they're light on fruits and veggies I say, "You can have raisins, apple slices, carrot slices or applesauce." Or if they're light on protein, "You can have a hard boiled egg or mixed nuts." These changes plus a dozen or so others have us back on the right road. It's a long road, but in the interim I'm much more relaxed, my older daughter is much happier and my two-year-old benefits from these techniques at a much earlier age. Just as my venerated pediatrician reminds me, "We have 18 years to help her become a good eater." Thanks to this book, I'm confident we'll get there in a positive, gentle way.