I am often called upon to talk about how to get children to eat healthier foods. Our children have been raised to expect pizza, chicken nuggets, pasta, and hot dogs as part of their regular diet. This makes me sad and afraid for the health of our children on a much larger scale.
While I do recognize that children can become picky eaters as they develop autonomy and make their own choices, I don’t believe this is the reason kids don’t eat well. Children express themselves in many ways. They have control over what goes into their bodies. They can determine what, how much, and when they eat. But parents and caregivers always have control over the other variables.
Parents buy the food. If your child eats way too many goldfish crackers, don’t buy them! If they are not readily available to consume, they won’t over indulge. Isn’t this the same concept that we should all consider for ourselves? Don’t buy juice-it has empty calories. Take a break from waffles. Skip the fruity snacks.
Adults prepare the food. Make one meal that is healthy for everyone in the family. We all could use some gentle reminders to eat the good stuff.
It’s simple if you realize that kids will eat what is put in front of them if they are hungry. As a parent, I know that this does not apply to ALL foods. (My kids will not eat some of the vegetables that I cook-asparagus, potatoes, butternut squash.) But if they see others eating them and are required to have a little taste, they have a greater likelihood to try them.
I like the overall concepts in this article- “5 healthy eating strategies that will outlast any trends”.
They can be applied to kids so that they will grow up craving healthy foods. Let’s get rid of the kid’s menu and give them nutritious foods instead.
If you have any tricks and pointers to share, I would love to hear them! And if you are interested in a workshop about dealing with the picky eaters in your life, send me a message!