John's Articles

10-Month-Old Tosses Food for Mealtime Fun

Posted on 8/4/2020

Q: Our 10-month-old son has recently discovered the joys of throwing finger food on the floor at mealtimes. He doesn’t seem to care if I feed it to him myself, one piece at a time, but isn't it...

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Restoring Peace to the Family Dinner Table

Posted on 10/11/2016

Q: Dinner with our three kids always, and I mean ALWAYS, turns into a disaster. Typically, the oldest, 11, begins to needle the youngest, 6, and then, when the middle one, 9, figures out which of...

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3 Rules for Taking Kids to Restaurants

Posted on 7/19/2016

The Wall Street Journal recently interviewed Daniel Eddy, a New York City chef, on how to have a mutually-successful experience with a young child in an upscale restaurant (“How to Take Your Kids...

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Fail-Safe Formula for Getting Kids to Eat Everything

Posted on 1/14/2014

Yes, it is possible to get kids to eat everything on their plates-spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, you name it. Why, in the American southeast, it is common for toddlers to eat something...

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Eat What You Are Served

Posted on 12/31/2013

Q: Our son is two-and-one-half and for the most part eats very well. We make up his plate for each meal and he has to eat what is on his plate, or at least try each food on the plate before he can...

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18-Month-Old is a Table Terror!

Posted on 2/26/2013

Q: Our 18 month old is a table terror! While I'm preparing dinner, she walks around acting like she's starving, but as soon as we sit her in her highchair she takes a few bites and then wants...

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Give Children What They Need and Little of What They Want

Posted on 11/22/2011

Respect children; don't idolize them A young mother who identified herself as a practitioner of "attachment parenting" recently told me that "children should be approached with reverence." I...

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Meal Time Circus

Posted on 2/8/2011

Don't let kids run family food circus I must, in the interest of full disclosure, begin this column with a confession: I am a voyeur; more specifically, a parenting voyeur. In the words of...

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Childhood Obesity

Posted on 1/11/2011

Parents can solve childhood obesity Last week I offered 15 parenting resolutions for the new year. This week, I'm making a prediction: 2011 will see the beginning of a revolution in what and...

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15 Resolutions For Parents

Posted on 1/4/2011

15 resolutions for parents Given that this is the first column of a new year, I'm proposing a number of parenting New Year's Resolutions for my readers to consider. The list is by no means...

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2-Year-Old Girl Eating Issues

Posted on 9/28/2010

Don't get into a food fight with a toddler Q: My 2-year-old daughter eats a few bites of supper each night and then wants milk. So I give her milk. Then she refuses to eat anything else. We...

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4-Year-Old Girl Snack Requests

Posted on 2/23/2010

If child is hungry, give healthy snacks Q. My almost 4-year-old daughter asks for food constantly. I can't tell if this is a boredom thing or an attention thing, but regardless I am unsure how...

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Readership Solutions: Sibling Conflict, Fears, and Mealtime

Posted on 1/5/2010

NEVER WITHOUT GOOD SOLUTIONS AS LONG AS READERS SHARE STORIES One of the wonderful things about my job is my readership, many of whom feed me material on a regular basis. Here's a sample of...

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Train Children to Behave in Public

Posted on 9/15/2009

RESPECT YOUR FELLOW DINERS - TEACH CHILDREN TABLE MANNERS "I feel a column coming on, " my wife said, doing her usual read-my-mind thing. It was another superb nine o'clock in the morning in...

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Special Meal at Dinnertime

Posted on 6/2/2009

SPECIAL MEAL? PARENTS, WHAT ARE YOU THINKING? The first Question of the Week is "Why at dinnertime should children be served what everyone else in the family is served?" This question would...

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Democratic Family Creates Tyranny

Posted on 3/31/2009

DEMOCRACY WITH KIDS IS REALLY TYRANNY This week, as I continue taking issue with parenting styles born in the '60s, I explore the notion that the family should be democratic. My wife,...

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16-Month-Old Boy Refuses to Feed Himself

Posted on 12/30/2008

PARENTS SHOULD CALMLY HELP BABY LEARN TO FEED HIMSELF Q. Our 16-month-old son refuses to feed himself. He will not even touch his food other than to throw it to the floor. If I try to put a bit...

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18-Month-Old Boy Crys at Restaurants

Posted on 4/1/2008

CRYING AT RESTAURANTS IS TOUGH BEHAVIOR TO CHANGE, SO EAT IN Q. How should I handle an 18-month-old who cries at a restaurant because he wants out of his high chair to sit with me or someone...

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Mealtime Issues With Young Children

Posted on 9/4/2007

Spilled drinks Q. My 2-year-old has a bad habit of tipping over a regular cup at meals. He will take a drink and then just dump the rest onto the tray of his highchair. We have tried only...

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20-Month-Old Spits Out Food

Posted on 3/22/2005


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Spoiled Children at Meal Time

Posted on 2/22/2005

WHY I WON'T BE A GUEST ON 'THE JANE PAULEY SHOW' A producer for "The Jane Pauley Show" called me recently, asking if I'd be interested in appearing on a segment they were doing on spoiled...

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5-Year-Old Picky Eater

Posted on 1/18/2005

The picky eater A mother recently asked my advice about a 5-year-old picky eater. She wrapped up her description of the child's bad manners (that's what so-called "picky eating" is, after...

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3-Year-Old Asks for Food When Upset

Posted on 8/3/2004


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9-Month-Old Mealtime Issues

Posted on 5/11/2004

IGNORE FOOD-TOSSING TODDLER Q: We recently expanded our 9-month-old daughter's finger-food menu at mealtimes. The problem is that she's discovered how much fun it is to throw her food on the...

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20-Month-Old Eating Dog Food

Posted on 1/20/2004

TODDLER LIKES MUNCHING ON DOG FOOD Q: I can't keep my 20-month-old daughter out of the dog's food. I've tried scolding, distracting, time-out - nothing has worked. This has been going on since...

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13-Month-Old Shares His Meal with the Dog

Posted on 3/11/2003

Q: Our 13-month-old eats table food at his high chair. The problem is that he shares his meal with the dog. He throws food over the side just to watch the dog jump on it. This is actually funny,...

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4-Year-Old Will Not Swallow Food

Posted on 10/15/2002

LOTS OF KIDS HAVE CERTAIN ODDITIES Q: Our 4-year-old daughter at some point during a meal will decide that she can't swallow her food. When I tell her that she cannot spit it out, she will defy...

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5-Year-Old Mealtime Manners

Posted on 8/6/2002

DISCIPLINE MUST WORK IN LONG TERM Once upon a time, I thought discipline was all about punishment. This wrong-headedness had a lot to do with my graduate training in psychology, especially the...

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Sippy Cups

Posted on 3/19/2002

DISPUTE OVER SIPPY CUPS POINTS TO LAZY PARENTING The front page of The Wall Street Journal on Feb. 12 blared the shocking news: The sippy cup - the spill-free cup used by most American...

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Children Want Foods They Love? They've Got to Eat Their Veggies

Posted on 7/17/2001

<b>Q. How, pray tell, does one persuade a 5-year-old to eat vegetables? We have tried every approach with our daughter, but nothing has worked. Help! A: </b>No doubt you've told your daughter...

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8-Year-Old Smacks When Eating

Posted on 4/4/2000

TELL YOUR SON THE SMACKER, '3 STRIKES AND YOU'RE OUT' Q. Our 8 year-old smacks horribly when he is eating. We have tried nagging, threatening and sending him away from the table. We obviously...

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Parenting Short Stories

Posted on 3/28/2000

ADD OR BAD? BOY'S BEHAVIOR COULD BE BOTH Here's a collection of "parenting shorts:" First, an absolutely true story from my "A Rose, By Any Other Name ... " file, told to me by the mother...

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Advice on Picky Eaters

Posted on 7/6/1999

WITH NO OTHER OPTIONS, PICKY CHILD WILL EAT Parents have asked me a lot of questions lately about young children who refuse to eat the food put in front of them, generally at the evening meal....

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10-Year-Old Complains About Food on her Plate

Posted on 7/22/1994

PARENTS MUST STOP CATERING TO FUSSY DINNER-TABLE TYRANT Q. When we sit down to eat, our 10-year-old complains about the food on her plate. Trying to persuade her to take even one bite of...

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4-Year-Old Eating Vegetables

Posted on 2/18/1990

CLASSIC CONFRONTATION: KIDS VS. VEGETABLES Q. We have tried various approaches to getting our 4-year-old daughter to eat vegetables, but nothing has worked. Do you have a solution? A. I...

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5-Year-Old Eating Issues

Posted on 3/16/1986

STOP PLAYING THE RESTAURANT GAME' WITH YOUR CHILD Q. I don't think out 5-year-old has ever finished a plate of food, regardless of how little it held. Ever since she graduated from baby...

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