As I was reading this article, this one sentence stuck out to me.
“Learning plays a crucial role in their model because a child learns not how much food to eat, but also which foods to eat. Associative learning processes are important because certain foods can be associated with positive consequences or negative consequences.”
At a young age I was never taught how much food I should or should not be eating nor was I ever forced to eat something I didn’t like. My mom always let me eat what I wanted. I remember being four years old and going to McDonald’s with my mom and brother. He always ordered a big mac while I got stuck with the happy meals. One day I got fed up with the little meal I was getting and asked my mom for a big mac. She didn’t argue one bit, she ordered me the big mac and I ate every bit of it. I didn’t know back then that McDonald’s was such a horrible food industry or that maybe a four year old shouldn’t have been eating that much. I was hungry and wanted more food, the thought process didn’t go any further. Don’t get me wrong, I still ate my vegetables, fruits, and rarely turned down any kind of food that was presented my way. It wasn’t until I reached my teenage years when I started observing what are considered healthy foods. I honestly do not believe in forcing your child to eat something simply because it may be good for them. Why not save you the headache, your child the tears, and find either an alternative way to prepare the awful food group they may not like or find a different source of the same nutrients? Having your child witness a negative consequence all because they didn’t eat something you wanted them to, in my opinion will only led them to be closed minded to different food groups and cultures.