How to Help Your Toddler Develop Poor Eating Habits in 4 Easy Steps

Yahoo Shine recently listed eight mistakes parents make when feeding their toddlers. But if you love your little ones, you want them to be happy right now. And being happy often means healthy eating habits should go out with the trash. No, really.

Here are four steps you can take right now to ensure your toddler has negative associations with food for the rest of their life (you’re welcome!):

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  • Toddler Won’t Eat? 1 of 5
    Toddler Won't Eat?
    Then you know you're doing your part as a parent (to contribute to making your tot underweight or overweight or have control issues or ensure their future therapists can buy a second home on the beach. But hey, you're doing your part, right?).
  • Give Them Lots and Lots of Juice 2 of 5
    Give Them Lots and Lots of Juice
    According to HealthyChildren.org, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends toddlers should drink no more than 4-6 ounces of juice each day — too much sugar will fill them up and leave them with little desire to eat at actual meals. Water is a healthier choice on pretty much every level.

    But juice just tastes so good. Besides, who needs to eat when you can drink your weight in calories?
  • Insist They Eat What You Eat 3 of 5
    Insist They Eat What You Eat
    If you're eating a quinoa, kale and mushroom salad seasoned with sesame oil, garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes for dinner, your toddler should surely have to eat it, too. Who cares if it's bitter, spicy or just plain gross? One family = one meal. After all, The New York Times says kids learn to be picky eaters from their parents, and you turned out OK.

    Besides, who cares what their preference is for dinner? No one said life would be fair. Or that parents should be kind. Or that kids should eat.
  • Make Them Finish Everything on their Plates 4 of 5
    Make Them Finish Everything on their Plates
    If it's on their plate, it's they're obligation to eat it. If they complain their tummies are full, then save it for breakfast. Registered dietician Toby Amidor says parents typically give too-large portions, but more food equals more love, right?

    Food is meant for torture, not to be enjoyed. Eating when you're full is a rite of childhood passage, after all.
    Anyway, if you don't have a dog, who, exactly, will clean the plate?
  • If At First They Don’t Like it, Make Them Something Else 5 of 5
    If At First They Don't Like it, Make Them Something Else
    If they don't like it, make something else. It teaches them you're at their beck and call and their every whim should be met on demand.

    Their future spouses, co-workers, children and neighbors will thank you (or curse you. Whatever).

For four more ways to make (or, you know, break) bad eating habits, visit Yahoo Shine.

Photo credits: iStockphoto

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