October 31, 2009

Children’s Eating Habits

So I got an email from one of my doctors the other day, Dr. Fuhrman, whom I very much respect and value the opinion of.  He is a very compassionate doctor who cares very much about the needs and wellbeing of his patients… you’re not just a number or science experiment.  Anyway, he wrote this article in regards to the responsibilities we have as parents to feed our children healthy and how it is our responsibility to offer healthy choices.  So many diet related diseases are on the rise in our young children and I agree with him from the standpoint that it’s what we offer them that they learn to like and dislike healthy vs. junk food.  Dr. Fuhrman is radical in his approach to diet with children which I can respect and understand, however, for my family I am working on finding a balance between eating nutritionally packed foods and still allowing the occasional sweet or treat.  I try to educate my kids in funs ways by involving them in shopping, helping make grocery lists, letting them pick a meal to have during the week and coming up with the items we will need to buy, and cooking with me.  I also find much better success when they get to have choices.  And we’re the ones in control of what things they have to choose from.  I mentioned in an earlier post my “snack pack” idea where I bought a flat plastic tool box with compartments in it and I fill it up a few times a week with fresh veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds and dried fruit and that in itself has been a huge success… they have free access to it, it’s at a level they can reach and I know that everything in it is nutrient packed so no matter what they pick to eat it’s healthy.  Don’t get me wrong, they get treats and heck, Owen is in preschool where they serve ice cream at 9 am for birthdays! But hopefully you can be encouraged to make healthy and wise choices for your little ones too because ultimately, while they are little, we are responsible for what goes in their little bodies.

All that being said, many of you might think, “Eating like this takes so much more time”  or “My kid just won’t eat like this.” 
And in response to the first thought, my next few posts will consist of simple ideas for each meal and snacks.  In response to the second thought, this is where I dish out tough love. It’s like any other habit you have to break with little ones.  They will eventually eat, they will not starve.  First remove from your home (or at least your kitchen… my husband secretly hides a pack of Oreo’s in a high cupboard) any foods you don’t want to be a food choice for your kids.  And then simply start offering things that you want them to eat.  Yes, they may throw a fit, yes they may stay at the table for hours, but it won’t last.  It takes a few days and with some it might take a week or so depending on how stubborn they are.  Remember, most kids coming off the American Standard Diet have taste buds that crave things like salt and sugar so it will take a bit for their little taste buds to adjust to the flavors of real food.  But it’s worth it.  Hang in there and join me in starting to make changes to the diets of our little ones.

1 Comments So Far...

October 31, 2009 wendy

Danika, you know me, heather and marissa now all have snack packs. The kids love it. They fell like such big kids that they have the access and control.  Sometimes whine when they have eaten all the fruits and only veggies are left. I just tell them to eat those veggies and they’ll get more fruit. One time I swear lydia ate an entire bell pepper in one sitting because she wanted the fruit refill. Thanks for the great idea.

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