“My kids won’t eat that”! “I gave up on force feeding vegetables a long time ago”, “My kids have texture issues”.
Trying to get our kids to actually enjoy their healthy food choices and ultimately selecting vegetables when we aren’t there to hold their hand, is the ultimate goal in my books.
Helping our kids make conscious, mindful, choices while developing their healthy palate is the greatest gift we can give them. Setting them up for life long success as they age, and long after we are gone to help with their junk food induced sore tummy.
Lately, my 3-year-old has been pushing back a bit. He has always been my amazing vegetable eater. We told him the truth from a young age. Eating vegetables is what makes you strong. After he hurt his hand, we also taught him that eating his vegetables will help him heal up fast. My son has always been keen on eating vegetables and plant based sources of protein because that is what he has always known.
I learned from watching Korean kids munch back fish and fermented cabbage, that “picky eaters” develop from cultural norms and what they are permitted to be picky about.
At our our house, if the dinner offered is not palatable to my toddlers, they get to choose to not eat it. However, they will have to wait until the next meal time to see if the meal offered is more favourable. May sound harsh to some, but this idea wasn’t mine either. I got it from a great book called In Love and Logic, that has been very helpful for teaching responsible decision making and consequences.
I do think the biggest influence on your child’s picky eating habits is what you eat. If your kids see you eating vegetables and enjoying them, chances are they will know this is the norm. For some this may be a challenge because our own childhood experiences have moulded our palate. Remember, what we thought as kids about processed food was completely wrong. Food choices we grew up on are not the same as the chemical concoctions offered today in grocery stores, restaurants, cafeterias, community picnics and block BBQs.
Here is a great video from one of my favourite docs, ‘Tricks, to Get Kids to Eat Healthier At School”:
School seems to be our biggest challenge. We seem to eat dramatically different from the kids my son interacts with at lunch time. His main resistance started once he looked at other kids lunches and his own. Sometimes his lunch comes home untouched, with a hungry little man snatching snacks before dinner. But if this is the case, my son needs to eat his lunch before he can enjoy what is offered for dinner. This has only happened a few times, go figure.
The way I see it, more and more parents will start to pay attention to what fuel they are pouring into their most precious little people. It takes time, you have to offer the same foods over and over. Don’t give up. My one-year-old finally decided she liked guacamole today, after at least 25 introductions!
Eventually if we, who understand the vital connection between our food and how we feel/live, patiently leads by example, all kids will start to see processed foods for what they are and real foods for what they need.
Here are a few links to previous posts I have done on kids and eating real nutrition.
1.Superfoods I feed my kids
2.Tricks for feeding your kids
I am happy to announce the first GBC newsletter went out today. Finally! There are 30 members and we are excited for you to join us. Your info is safe, and I won’t send more emails than you can use. I promise.
Thanks for reading!
Great to be back and I look forward to sharing what this next chapter of my life in the “Deep South” will bring about for the learning adventures of the GBC.