Chapter Three: Identify Your Child's Eating Style One of my sons eats anything I put before him -- from sushi to tofu. He's a total adventurer when it comes to food. My other son is so picky he won't touch any food that has a strong color, texture, or smell. They couldn't be more different from one another!mother of two boys, six and eight Does your child eat only white or beige food? Does she seem to graze all day, rarely sitting down to eat what you would call a "whole" meal? Or is your child the type who seems to eat nothing for days and then consumes three plates full of his favorite food? Over the years, as I've worked with kids and their parents, I've observed that children demonstrate six distinctive styles of eating that correlate to individual temperament traits. What is a temperament trait? Although we often use this concept loosely, a temperament trait is a genetically determined personality characteristic that both defines and describes the way an individual reacts to the world around him. When we say, for example, "He is so intense and demanding," we are usually referring to the temperament trait intensity of reaction; when we say a child is easily distracted, we are referring to the temperament trait distractibility; and when we say a child is overly sensitive, we are also referring to the temperament trait related to sensory threshold or degree of sensitivity. While these traits can and do change in response to life experiences and environment, they also remain biologically driven. For our purposes, it's useful for parents to know how such characteristics affect their child's eating behavior. Indeed, the six eating styles described in this chapter incorporate those temperament traits that affect eating behavior in kids.The Six Basic Eating Styles The Food Demander makes incessant demands for a certain food (usually sweet) or keeps demanding more food. He tends to be temperamentally intense and strong-willed (as opposed to easygoing and compliant) and can end up using food for emotional purposes.The Trouble Transitioner has trouble either moving from a previous activity to the dinner table or has trouble stopping once he begins eating. He can be very intense and focused and can require a bit more help moving from one activity to the next. Basically, this type of child is highly reactive to change and needs a bit more help adapting to a new situation.The Picky Eater finds very little he or she likes and keeps changing her mind about the foods she will consent to eat. Kids in this category may, for example, love peanut butter one week and loathe it the next. She may eat only favorite foods. The Picky Eater can be sensitive not only to the colors, smells, and textures of food, but also to other aspects of her environment.The Beige Food Eater insists on eating foods that are white or beige colored because these foods also tend to be bland in taste. Again, this child can be temperamentally sensitive to his environment and will therefore try to manage this sensitivity by controlling his food choices by color or taste.The Spurt Eater barely eats for days and then chows down. He will show less interest in food than the more adventurous eater, and it may appear that he subsists on air, only to eat voraciously several days later, playing catch-up with his biological needs.The Grazer loves to nibble throughout the day and avoids sitting down to a complete meal. This type of eater might be more than usually distracted by outside stimuli and easily engaged in activities other than eating. He might have trouble sitting down to a meal that requires too much of his time and attention. He is off and running, more interested in things other than eating to satisfy his hunger. Although no doubt annoying at times, theseFish, Donna is the author of 'Take The Fight Out Of Food How To Prevent And Solve Your Child's Eating Problems', published 2005 under ISBN 9780743477796 and ISBN 0743477790.