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Until I was two, I ate whatever my mom spooned into my mouth. But at age two I rejected all vegetables. My mom, concerned, spoke to the pediatrician. He said, "Children know what they need. Don't force her, let her choose." That would have been very good advice EXCEPT for the addictive qualities of wheat and sugar. When I was given full freedom with no restraint, I said "NO," to peas, squash and spinach; and "yes" to bread and cookies.
In stark contrast to my upbringing, was a little boy I babysat for. Many times when I arrived at his house he would be at the table with a defiant expression on his face. His father would shout, "He doesn't get up until he eats every bite on his plate." I was left with the impossible task of following the parent's instructions and getting along with the boy (for this they paid me 50 cents an hour!!!).
When I had my own children knew I had to strike a balance between the two extremes. From the time my children began to feed themselves, I put a little bit of whatever we had on their plates. They had to at least taste everything, and they had to eat all of the foods they normally liked before they could get seconds on anything. For example: neither of them liked squash and both of them liked green beans. They had to take a tiny taste of squash and eat all of their green beans before they could get extra bread, meat or fruit. A funny thing happened. My son always wanted seconds on meat. My daughter wanted seconds on legumes and salad. We joked for years that one was an herbivore and one was a carnivore. This was long, long before I heard about the Blood Type Diet.
My old pediatrician had been almost right! When children are given a selection of good foods, they will choose what they need.
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