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How to Turn A Picky Eater Into an Independent Eater

How to Turn A Picky Eater Into an Independent Eater

    One of the top issues in homes today is one where parents are completely frustrated at how picky or fussy their children are at mealtimes. Luckily, there is a very easy solution to this problem.

    Meal times should and can be one of the most precious rituals in any family’s home. It’s a time when everyone’s schedules go out the window and you just sit together eating, catching up on each other’s days and enjoying one another’s company.

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    If your meal times are not like this then let’s have a look at some possible reasons why, along with an appropriate solution for each. And keep in mind…some of these tricks may work on adults, too!

    1) Your family doesn’t actually make meal times a priority ie: breakfast or dinner

    Solution: If I told you that there is ALWAYS some way your family could sit down and enjoy a meal together at least 3 times a week, what would you say? If you simply cannot see how, then rethink the following:

    * Wake up, job start and/or end times
    * Location of where you work or live
    * Certain scheduled activities that are always interfering.

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    You CAN do this. Take a no-excuses approach to making it happen.

    2) Your kids only want chicken nuggets or sweet things.

    Solution: If you do not provide junk food, your children will not have the option of eating it. If you you provide good food and they don’t want it that night, use a consistent rule that they must try it. 75% of the time, they’ll say, “Mmmm, that’s good!” However, if they don’t like it, thank them for trying and then let them eat whatever else has been served alongside and ignore the situation.

    Another great idea is to keep the lower shelf of the fridge stocked with fruit, yogurt, and vegetable snacks so they can help themselves if they get hungry later.

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    3) You try to control their eating too much.

    Solution: Nothing will bring up revolt quicker than a parent insisting a plate be finished. If you worry over every bite your child eats he/she will become a fussy eater. Remember: children want control over their lives. They quickly figure out that food is one area they can gain that control. Makes sense, right? If you don’t make a huge issue out of their food decisions, they won’t either.

    4) Your kids aren’t open to trying new things or they will only eat “white” or “green” things.

    Solution: Get your kids involved in cooking. When kids are active participants in the cooking of their food, they become more interested and excited about it. There is an incentive to try new things! What often happens is that kids will end up trying something they’ve often refused just because they were not being asked, told or forced to eat it.

    I strongly believe that family meals should be for communicating and enjoying. Let’s offer healthy food, taking into consideration our children’s likes, and then let the rest of the meal flow.

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    How do you deal with the picky eaters in your life? Tell us in the comments below!

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    Last Updated on October 23, 2018

    Science Says Knitting Makes Humans Warmer And Happier, Mentally

    Science Says Knitting Makes Humans Warmer And Happier, Mentally

    My mother was a great knitter and produced some wonderful garments such as Aran sweaters which were extremely fashionable when I was young. She also knitted while my father drove, which caused great amusement. I often wondered why she did that but I think I know the answer now.

    Knitting is good for your mental health, according to some research studies. The Washington Post mentions a 2013 survey of about 3,500 knitters who were asked how they felt after a knitting session. Over 80% of them said they definitely felt happier. It is not a totally female occupation as more and more men take it up to get the same benefits. Harry Styles (One Direction) enjoys knitting. So does Russell Crowe although he does it to help him with anger management!

    The Neural Knitwork Project

    In Australia, Neural Knitworks was started to encourage people to knit and also become aware of neuroscience and mental health issues. Knit-ins were organized but garments were not the only things created. The knitters produced handmade neurons (1,665 of them!) to make a giant brain. The 2015 project will make more neural knitted networks (neural knitworks) and they will be visible online. You can see some more examples of woolly neurons on the Neural Knitworks Facebook page.

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    While people knitted, crocheted and crafted yarn, they listened to experts talking about mental health issues such as addiction, dementia, depression, and how neurons work.

    The knitting and neural connection

    The human brain has about 80 billion neurons. Learning new skills, social interaction, and physical activity all help to forge neural connections which keep the brain healthy and active. They are creating networks to control movement and make memories. The knitters learn that as they create the woollen neurons, their own neurons are forming new pathways in their brains. Their creations are mimicking the processes in their brains to a certain extent. At the same time, their brains are registering new and interesting information as they learn interesting facts about the brain and how it works. I love the knitworks and networks pun. What a brilliant idea!

    More mental health benefits from knitting

    Betsan Corkhill is a physiotherapist and has published some results of completed studies on her website, appropriately named Stitchlinks. She conducted some experiments herself and found that knitting was really helpful in reducing panic and anxiety attacks.

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    “You are using up an awful lot of brain capacity to perform a coordinated series of movements. The more capacity you take up by being involved in a complex task, the less capacity you have for bad thoughts.”- Betsan Corkhill

    Knitters feel happier and in a better mood

    Ann Futterman-Collier, Well Being Lab at Northern Arizona University, is very interested in how textile therapy (sewing, knitting, weaving and lace-making) can play an important role in mood repair and in lifting depressive states.

    She researched 60 women and divided them into three different groups to do some writing, meditating and work with textiles. She monitored their heartbeat, blood pressure and saliva production. The women in the textiles group had the best results when their mood was assessed afterwards. They were in a better mood and had managed to reduce their negative thoughts better than those in the writing and meditation groups.

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    “People who were given the task to make something actually had less of an inflammatory response in the face of a ‘stressor’.” – Dr. Futterman Collier

    The dopamine effect on our happiness

    Our brains produce a chemical called dopamine. This helps us to feel happy, more motivated, and assists also with focus and concentration. We get a boost of dopamine after sex, food, exercise, sleep, and creative activities.

    There are medications to increase dopamine but there are lots of ways we can do it naturally. Textile therapy and crafting are the easiest and cheapest. We can create something and then admire it. In addition, this allows for a little bit of praise and congratulations. Although this is likely not your goal, all these can boost our dopamine and we just feel happier and more fulfilled. These are essential in facing new challenges and coping with disappointment in life.

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    “Sometimes, people come up to me when I am knitting and they say things like, “Oh, I wish I could knit, but I’m just not the kind of person who can sit and waste time like that.” How can knitting be wasting time? First, I never just knit; I knit and think, knit and listen, knit and watch. Second, you aren’t wasting time if you get a useful or beautiful object at the end of it.” – Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit’s End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much.

    If you thought knitting and textiles were for old ladies, think again!

    Featured photo credit: DSC_0012/Mary-Frances Main via flickr.com

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