Here comes the helicopter!

girlwithfishI have spent a long time noticing and reflecting on the different ways parents try to make their children eat. In my book, I split these into several broad categories:




  • Cajoling – this is where we gently persuade, often involving comedy trains and aeroplanes….
  • Incentivising – you know the one; if you eat your beans you can have a star on your chart / a sticker / your pudding…
  • Pleading – “just one more bite… for mummy?”
  • The authoritarian approach –  “eat it because I say so”
  • Reasoning – often invoking the god of nutrition; eat it because “you need vitamins” / “it will make you big and strong”
  • Comparing – this is where we use siblings or friends to try to get a child to try something ” Look – Jack LOVES his fish”
  • Tempting -extolling the virtues of whatever it is we want them to taste, in the hope that they will be unable to resist

All of the above involve giving your child attention for not eating or being negative about food, and all of them are therefore experienced by your child as a kind of ‘pay-off’. Continue reading


My interview with Dina Rose

American sociologist, parent educator and feeding expert, Dina Rose PhD is the author of the fantastic ‘It’s Not About the Broccoli’.


I reviewed her book back in January and loved her approach. Like me, Dina helps parents understand that when it comes to feeding your kids, it’s more important to help them develop a positive relationship with food than to simply focus on getting as much healthy food down them as possible. Here’s how Dina answered my questions:

1.Can you tell my readers a bit about your journey into the world of picky eating? What made you decide to get involved in this field?

My mother died of obesity-related illnesses when I was pregnant with my daughter, over 13 years ago. She was only 65 years old. When my daughter was born, I was consumed with answering the question, “How do you teach kids to eat right?” Continue reading