Guest Post – by Orlena Kerek from Snotty Noses
Do you ever worry about your child’s diet? You try really hard to get them to eat healthy food, fruit, vegetables, carrots, broccoli, peas? But what happens? They shout, they scream, they refuse.
Dinner times become a battle field. Parents get stressed and worried. You try bribery, flattery, coercion, and bribery again.
The peas remain untouched.
You worry about the long term health benefits of your child’s diet. And rightly so. A healthy diet is one of the keys to a healthy adulthood.
So what are you to do? Jack it all in and stick to mac and cheese?
No, there is another way.
Firstly, stop worrying. The more you worry, the more you stress, the more pressure you will put on your children and the less likely they are to eat the offending object. I don’t mean forget about healthy eating, I mean don’t worry about it. I’ll show you how.
The Stress Free Way to Healthy Eating.
Present them with food that is healthy and allow them to decide if they want to eat it or not. I know this is easier said than done, especially when you start, but you will get used to it and so will they. I am often surprised by my toddlers. When I present them with fruit and a biscuit (rather than just biscuits) mostly they eat the fruit first (although not always).
This technique does mean that you have to learn to trust your children. If they aren’t hungry, don’t push them to eat. You also have to be firm in your presentation. You decide what you’ll present them with. If they want it, they’ll eat it. If not, they either aren’t hungry or they’ll go hungry. No being persuaded into extra chips and cookies.
It’s really not as difficult as it sounds. Once you’re in healthy eating habits, it’s just eating. My kids eat healthily and they love what they eat. Sure, they complain some of the time but I just remind them that they don’t have to eat it if they don’t want to. Quite often they don’t eat it but that’s their choice not mine.
If you’d like some more help with healthy eating, my book Crunch! Put an End to Picky Eating and Help Your Kids Love Veggies, has heaps more advice for you so that you can learn to feed your children a healthy diet without all that fuss and stress.
There’s a special discount price of $10 for readers of 101 Things to Do with Kids.
I’m Dr Orlena Kerek. I’m a paediatric doctor and mother of four
young children. I used to think that healthy eating was easy, until I had children. Then I realised it’s easier said than done. Over the last few years I’ve been researching and practising on my own children to ensure that they develop healthy eating habits.
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