It’s snack time at my sister’s house. My nieces are both served a bowl of blueberries. Bella, the 4-year-old, eats them and asks for more. Maddie, the 2-year-old, eats one, spits it out and then begs for “chips, please!”
It is difficult not to indulge that little face, especially when she asks so politely, but my sister is not giving up that easily. She knows that kids need to be introduced to new foods as many as 15 times to get over its “newness.” So she swaps the blueberries for sliced bananas, a known favorite, and says she’ll try again tomorrow.
These are the kinds of child-feeding practices parents of young children need to have in their arsenal to prevent early childhood obesity. It is no secret that obesity is an epidemic in our nation, but did you know that more than 20 percent of children ages 2 to 5 are overweight or obese?