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Dinnertime Defiance

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Q: My daughter, 6, basically refuses to eat anything we have at dinnertime. She simply pouts and stonewalls when we try to get her to eat healthily. I have tried all sorts of kid- friendly foods, so I think it's more of a defiance issue than a food-preference issue. Do you have any advice?

A: Eating problems at that age are often power struggles. And you may be correct about it being a form of defiance. If that's the case, then I would suggest that you make sure that your daughter doesn't feel she can control you by her stubbornness. Make sure she stays at the table until she at least samples the food that you prepare. And when she has done so, you might reward her in some fashion with dessert or a special treat. In other words, you should be stubborn to make sure she does sample the food. Have some patience and that should work after a couple of weeks.

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