Get Your Children’s Diet On A Healthy Track
You are starting a family or are already there with fussy eating children. Following is a story and a plan on how to improve your children’s diet.
You set a dinner or lunch plate in front of your kids just
to have them eat everything but the fruits and vegetables.
You’ve tried everything and nothing seems to work. So,
what are you to do to make sure they get the right amount
of vitamins and minerals in their diet without having to
force feed them?
Some parents take the strict route. In fact, a friend of
mine left her daughter sitting at the kitchen table for
two hours one time.
Her daughter was told she could not leave her seat until
she ate the peas on her plate. This cute little
blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl didn’t want to eat her peas,
though. So, there she sat. And sat. And sat.
My friend did what most parents do at that point. She
tried many different avenues of getting her daughter to
First she was stern. She told her child that she could sit
there all night if she wanted to but there was no way she
was doing ANYTHING until she ate her vegetables.
After seeing that that wasn’t working, she switched her
tone to one of information giving. She told her daughter
how eating her peas would help her grow up big and strong.
Apparently her daughter wasn’t overly concerned about that
because it didn’t cause her to budge an inch.
In desperation, my friend tried begging her precious gem
of a child to eat the little green round bundles of
nutrition. She even resorted to bribing her with a new toy
the next time they went to the store.
Eventually, my friend’s daughter grudgingly ate one tiny
pea. My friend declared a somewhat defeated victory and
called it a day.
Does any of this sound familiar to you?
Here are a few things you can do to make your kids want to
clean up their plates without having to resort to begging,
pleading and bribery.
* Make it fun.
All too often, kids don’t want to eat their fruits and
vegetables because they’re given a negative connotation.
“Eat your green beans or you can’t go out and play.”
Use these types of urgings with your child, and they then
look at eating healthy foods as something that they HAVE
to do in order to get what they want. It transforms them
from great choices to unwanted obligations.
The key is to keep these types of foods fun and exciting,
not related to work or chores.
One way to do this may be to put green beans on their
plate in the shape of train tracks. Or, cut fruits and
melons and arrange them as if they are flower petals.
The more fun you can make it to eat healthy foods, the
more likely your little one will eat them because they
want to, not because they have to.
* Involve them in the preparation.
Any teacher will tell you that the best way to get kids to
do what they’re supposed to is to give them some ownership
in the process. That’s why letting them help you prepare
the fruits and veggies works so well.
Most kids are very proud of the things they do to help
their parents. It gives them a sense of being part of the
family and helping out the ones they love the most.
So, if your children are old enough, let them help you cut
Even if a regular knife is too risky, a lot of softer
fruits and veggies can actually be cut with a butter
knife. They may not look as pretty, but who cares? Your
child will feel proud nonetheless.
At a minimum, you can let them help garnish them or set
them on the kitchen table for serving purposes. Include
them in some way in the process, and they’ll be more
likely to eat them.
* Eat them yourself.
As the old saying goes, “Do as I say, not as I do.” But,
most parents are very aware that this way of thinking does
Kids learn by example.
If you expect your little one to eat more fruits and
veggies, make sure they see you doing the same. Kids like
to replicate what their parents do so they may be more
than happy to eat healthy at that point.
And, maybe more importantly, they will also pick up your
thoughts about fruits and vegetables as well. So, if you
refer to them as things you HAVE to eat versus things you
WANT to eat, prepare for them to have the same mentality.
Remember that kids are sponges. Whatever you show them by
way of attitudes and behaviors, they will take them in and
spit them right back out at you.
That means that you may want to look at where your kids
are picking up what they’re doing as they may actually be
getting it from you – whether intentionally or not.
Of course, you can always sneak healthy fruits and
vegetables to great-tasting meals if you want your kids to
eat more of them.
More On Your Children’s Diet:
Fruits and vegetables has become evident in recent years in the quality of children s diets and is a significant contributor to the obesity epidemic Pearson.… continued……