Today I am promo-ing an excellent article.
I read an article (referenced in todays) going around linking food education to eating disorders a couple of weeks ago and was challenged by it (in a good way). It reminded me to not be fastidious with the kids. Not that I am. By any means. But I took a positive out of it.
Now Spoonfed has written a response and it is brilliant. It is about how to be balanced and educative in your approach to food as a parent. She does not advocate blanket “no sweets” etc but more so teaching children how to eat things that are as close to their original food source as possible – and why. She helps her children see that real food tastes BETTER and helps them feel GOOD.
We had evidence of this recently when, after a long spell of not buying any hot chips, we bought hot chips. My 5 yo says “Mum, these are no where near as good as yours”.
YAY! 🙂 This is our experience. Our kids over time have changed their tastes. Since they are eating real food, they know what real food tastes like. At first they craved sugar and salt (because it’s in everything), and now…not so much. Our 5 yo is now rejecting things because he thinks they are ‘too’ sweet, which is very odd given he has been the biggest imaginable sweet tooth.
They now eat cereal in the morning that has ZERO sugar and they are happy just to put non dairy milk on top or sometimes soy yoghurt (I’m making my own). This story is not about boasting but about how much hard work Dave put in to get them to that point. He persisted, and he modelled. And he persisted. Some days he threw rice bubbles on top to help them get used to a mostly sugar free breakfast and eventually they didn’t look for it anymore. And this is now their preference.
Changing eating habits can and does work. It takes patience, trying over and over again and belief that tastes do change – and reasonably quickly.
And as the kids grow, my hope is that they will have a firm understanding of what is food and what is not. And making healthy choices is not about exciting or boring, but making a choice that helps us feel GOOD so we can enjoy the things we want to do. As we say, “Your body is thanking you for that choice”.
Have a great weekend 😉