The way to stop fighting about picky eating is to stop fighting. And a good way around that is the "participatory meal," where everyone makes their own combination of a noodle bowl or pizza or sandwich. Researchers think one of the reasons kids gravitate toward junk food is because they learn to eat through pleasurable experiences. Getting nagged or even yelled at during dinner isn't fun, making kids more likely to associate healthy food with an unpleasant experience, said dietitian Melanie Newkirk, manager of clinical nutrition at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital's Fit4Allkids program.
Many of us also turn to food for comfort, stress relief, or to reward ourselves. And when we do, we tend to reach for junk food, sweets, and other comforting but unhealthy foods. Emotional eating is using food to make yourself feel better—to fill emotional needs, rather than your stomach. In fact, it usually makes you feel worse.
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