"To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art." - La Rochefoucauld

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Share your favorite trick?

What is your best technique/trick to get your kiddies to eat a nutritious meal? Kevin told me he was trained like Pavlov's dog to crave dessert after eating a meal. We are big on dessert in our house. I do try to offer healthy dessert options but I still don't think bribery is the best tool. But lets face it...a mom has to do what a mom has to do!

I do not expect the kids to clear their plate. The rule is to taste every item on their plate. I don't like the idea of stuffing kids and making them eat until they have a clean plate. I want them to be able to read their own bodies and be the judge of when they are content. With that being said, it is so frustrating when you make a nice meal and they don't even want to touch it. The other night I made quinoa stuffed peppers in the crock pot and the boys didn't want anything to do with it. Even my human garbage can (Lana) passed it up. I felt so defeated. My grandma said to me "What four year old eats stuffed peppers?" and laughed at my efforts. I thought to myself....why not? Why can't a four year old eat stuffed peppers. This was their first introduction to them and it was unfamiliar and weird...I get that. My hope is that if they see them over and over again, they will be brave and eventually try them. Yes...it will take a ton of patience and maybe some wasted food, but it is a battle worth fighting. Good eating habits are probably the most important life skill your child can have! I think it is hard being the mom to little kids who don't really get why it is so important to eat healthy foods yet.

My mom told me that I was the world's worst eater. I had maybe three different foods in my diet up until I was a teenager. In college, I took several nutrition classes and started to learn about the importance of diet and health. Overtime, I retrained my brain to crave healthy foods. I can honestly say I do crave healthy things now..food items I would have gagged over in my past. Don't get me wrong, I can sniff out a bag of M&Ms from a mile away. But overall, I feel my best when I am eating well.

My goal is to continue to remind my kids why they need to eat these healthy foods and be consistent with providing them healthy options. I hope that they will eventually crave them like I do. I also like to ask them how they feel after eating unhealthy foods. For example, we go to a birthday party and they indulge in every tasty treat they see and end up with a belly ache. I like to remind/teach them that our body does not thrive on unhealthy foods and that is why they don't feel well.

My three tricks/techniques are the following:

1. Offer raw veggies and hummus to them before their dinner. I've notice that they are more apt to eat them when they aren't presented with several options at once.

2. As I have mentioned before, getting them involved seems to make them more apt to eat their creation! However, Kevin and I usually don't want to eat their creation after little kid hands have fondled our meal for twenty minutes. :)

3. Be a role model. It is so hard to choke down something you don't like...with a smile on your face. Unfortunately, I do think it is an effective technique. :)

I am looking forward to hearing other ideas!

No comments: