Parents are fed a daily avalanche of fear through their devices. Every day there seems to be stories of children dying from bizarre or even every day activities. This fear has parents cutting up their childrens’ food into tiny little pieces and avoiding all food that is considered to be “chokey”. By not allowing children to cut their own meat, etc. their hands are weak. Jaws are not developing because they are sucking applesauce out of pouches instead of biting into an unpeeled apple. Children need hard crunchy food to develop strong jaw muscles which enable speech sounds to develop correctly.
What to do? Start putting a knife and fork at your child’s place setting. Children as young as three can begin cutting deli meat, etc and then graduate to cutting their own beef/pork/chicken as they grow. Get those whole apples, carrots and hard raw vegetables into their snacks. Get your children helping to prepare meals. It might help with picky eaters to enlist them in making meals. Enforce eating at the table and no talking with food in their mouths. It may take awhile to get your child to enjoy eating hard crunchy fruit and vegetables, but persevere.