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  • Question 1/9

    Kids who won’t eat new foods are just being stubborn.

  • Answer 1/9

    Kids who won’t eat new foods are just being stubborn.

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    False.About 80% of picky eating is in a kid's genes. Picky eaters may have more sensitive palates, making new foods more overwhelming.

     

    It's important that your kids eat well, but don't force new food.  Keep serving new foods, even if they don’t try them at first. It’ll help them get used to foods. It can take many exposures to a new food -- maybe up to 90 -- before a child will even try it.

     

    While it may take longer than with other kids, even picky eaters can enjoy new foods eventually.

  • Question 1/9

    Shy kids don't do well on sports teams.

  • Answer 1/9

    Shy kids don't do well on sports teams.

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    False.Shy kids can do well on sports teams. While they may not be natural team players the way some outgoing kids are, it doesn’t mean they can’t be encouraged and eventually warm up to playing.

     

    Help your child see what's fun about a team sport. Go to a few practices so she can see what it's like. Set up a play date with a friend who's already on the team. Once your kid feels more comfortable, she may decide she wants to try it.

     

    But if she doesn't, that's OK, too. There are plenty of ways to get moving -- biking, walking, dancing -- where you don't have to be on a team. You want to work toward your child getting 60 minutes of physical activity over the course of the day.

  • Question 1/9

    Kids will outgrow dispositions like feistiness, making it easier to change their habits later.

  • Answer 1/9

    Kids will outgrow dispositions like feistiness, making it easier to change their habits later.

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    False.Every kid is born with a specific temperament and it doesn't really change. All the parenting books in the world can't transform a naturally feisty kid into a super calm one. But don’t stress. Kids of all dispositions can be taught new behaviors, like healthy habits. It is all in the approach.

  • Question 1/9

    Cautious, slow-to-warm up kids tend to do best with:

  • Answer 1/9

    Cautious, slow-to-warm up kids tend to do best with:

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    Set schedules work better for slow-to-warm-up kids.About 15% of kids have this type of cautious temperaments. If you want to make some healthy changes -- whether to their meals, bedtime, or other behaviors -- go slowly. Work towards a new set schedule with baby steps. Sudden changes to the routine can be hard for them to handle.

     

    Start by giving your kids a heads-up that change is coming. Then gradually build changes into your daily routine. Going slowly will be less upsetting -- and more likely to work.

     

    For example, if you're making bedtime earlier so they can be rested and have more energy for the day, start with making it just a minute earlier each night. Start a calming bedtime routine -- like a bath, reading, and dim lights -- that you do every night to help them get ready for bed. having a set schedule that they can come to rely on helps things run smoothly and everyone rest easy.

  • Question 1/9

    To get cooperation out of an independent-minded kid, let him decide.

  • Answer 1/9

    To get cooperation out of an independent-minded kid, let him decide.

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    True.If your kids resist healthy changes, don't make demands. Instead, offer choices and let them pick. It gives them some control. Don't try to break their will. It won't work -- and it will probably make them more defiant.

     

    Instead, work with your kids' natural assertiveness. Suggest two healthy foods, and let them choose one. Let them decide whether you go for a walk or a bike ride. They'll feel better, and you will, too.

  • Question 1/9

    What's the best thing to do if your kid tends to overeat unhealthy foods?

  • Answer 1/9

    What's the best thing to do if your kid tends to overeat unhealthy foods?

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    If your child tends to overeat, don't bring junk foods in the house.Keeping unhealthy foods in the kitchen but setting limits on how much they can eat and when may backfire. Restricting a kid's portion of a food can make him more likely to eat too much the next time it's available.

     

    Explain to your kids why healthy foods are so much better for your body than unhealthy ones. And then don't bring unhealthy foods into the house. 

     

    Try having healthier snacks on hand -- like cut-up veggies and fruits, reduced-fat cheese slices, and whole-grain crackers. Studies show that sidestepping the struggle may make your kid less likely to overeat.

  • Question 1/9

    If your child doesn’t like sports, she’ll never like exercise.

  • Answer 1/9

    If your child doesn’t like sports, she’ll never like exercise.

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    False.If your child isn't a natural athlete, that doesn't mean she's doomed to a life of unhealthy couch-sitting. Remember, there are all kinds of fun ways to encourage your child to move.

     

    Try building fairy houses in the woods. Take a nature walk with a birding book or create scavenger hunts. Encourage her to start a neighborhood dog-walking business. Help her come up with physical activities that fit in with her other interests.

  • Answer 1/9

    For physical activity to be fun, timid kids need to

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    Kids need to feel like they know what they are doing to have fun. We tell kids that sports should be fun. But if your kid has no confidence in his skills, it won't be. 

     

    Don't just tell your kid to relax and have fun on the field. Practice with him to build his belief that he can do it. Or help him find a new sport that makes him feel more capable. Once he feels in control, then he can have fun.

     

    Kids need to move 60 minutes a day. Remember that there are all kinds of fun ways for them to get that exercise!

  • Question 1/9

    "Easy going" kids do best with change.

  • Answer 1/9

    "Easy going" kids do best with change.

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    True.While some kids might throw a fit if you sign them up for swimming class, children with an easy temperament probably won't complain.

     

    And while you may be grateful it's so easy, remember that your child may be so laid back he won't tell you whether he really likes it or not.

     

    Take a few minutes to chat after your kid starts a new activity, team, or class. You need to find activities your kid enjoys, not just tolerates. The goal is to foster a life-long love of physical activity so that it is something they do every day, even as adults.

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    Results:

    Great job! You're an expert at sizing up a kid's temperament and how to work with it to instill healthy habits. Keep up the good work!

    Results:

    Not bad. You know a few things about a how a kid's temperament affects their behavior and willingness to adopt healthy habits. Although at times it can be trying, persistence pays off and will be worth it in the end.

    Results:

    Well, looks like you learned some new tricks for getting kids to adopt healthy habits. Doesn’t stress -- making new habits take time and you can do it. It’s so worth it.
     

Sources | Reviewed by Amita Shroff, MD on August 29, 2017 Medically Reviewed on August 29, 2017

Reviewed by Amita Shroff, MD on
August 29, 2017

IMAGES PROVIDED BY:
1) Sam Edwards / Getty

SOURCES:
EUFIC: "Fussy Eaters."

CDC: "How Much Physical Activity Do Children Need?"

The Center for Parenting Education: "Understanding Temperament: Adaptability."

Cooke, L. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, August 2007.

Healthy Children: "How to Understand Your Child's Temperament," "Your Child's Temperament."

NYU Child Study Center: "Parenting Styles/Children's Temperaments: The Match," "About Discipline -- Helping Children Develop Self-Control."

Mitchell, G. Appetite, January 2013.

Ohio State University: "Understanding Your Child's Temperament."

President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports: "The Role of Family in Promoting Physical Activity."

University of Florida: "Three Basic Types of Temperaments."

Zero to Three: "Cautious, Slow to Warm Up Temperaments."

This tool does not provide medical advice.
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