If Your Mommy Said That, Would You Eat It?By
Healthy Eating – Healthy Kids – Picky Eaters Part 2
My child is a picky eater part 2 continues with creative ideas and ways to encourage your children to eat healthy, to enjoy good food and to be more expansive in their eating habits. The topic to discuss today, is to be careful what you say in front of your kids in regards to food.
Be sure to read part 1 of “My Child Is A Picky Eater Part 1 ” with topics that include the following:
1. Do you expect your kids to eat the same foods as you?
2. Assume your kids will like to eat “adult food.”
3. Eat as healthy as you would want your kids to eat.
Be Careful How You Talk About Healthy Foods
If you want your kids to eat healthy and not to be picky eaters, I advise parents to be REALLY careful what they say in front of their kids in regards to eating and food. As parents we can send a loud and clear message to kids that “healthy foods are not as good as junk food, sweet food and/or salty food.” We communicate this message just by the way that we act and speak.
If Your Mommy Said This To You, Would You Eat It?
Imagine this scenario, and honestly reflect how you would feel if you were a kid.
You are having lunch with your kids and your girlfriend’s kids. Your friend’s child is out of food in her lunch box and is still hungry. So you offer extra food that you have brought that just happens to be “healthy.” (You are not pushing your ways, just sharing.)
The second mom responds by saying right in front of her daughter…….”well…..we can TRY to see if my daughter will eat it. She is a very picky eater and doesn’t like any healthy foods.
“Honey….do you want to try this xyz food?”
Of course the little girl doesn’t want to try the healthy cookie, the healthy muffin, apple, or anything that is called “healthy” because mom has already told her that she should not like “healthy foods.”
This mom has indirectly said to her child that “healthy foods” are not good, she has accepted the fact that her daughter is a “picky eater” and she is okay with the fact that her daughter will not eat anything that is a healthy food!
Does this mom NOT think that her child can hear her?
That is NOT a message we want to reinforce with our kids. How we speak to our kids about food has a huge impact on their attitudes and behaviors towards it.
How Do You Talk About Other Things In Life With Your Kids?
Very often, parents have a very different conversation about food then they do about other things in their kid’s lives. As parents, we wouldn’t say right in front of our child….”Johnny doesn’t like to read………. he only likes to do “FUN things.”
Then right after ask him……”Oh Johnny….do you want to read a book? ” (The reason we would not say this is the child hears…READING ISN”T FUN and mommy thinks that reading isn’t fun and therefore, I don’t like reading!)
Or how about a mom saying to her son……..”I am sure that you wouldn’t like being on the track team, it is too much work. But are you interested in joining?” Ridiculous I know, but that is how so many people talk about healthy foods RIGHT in front of their kids. I see it all the time.
Remember, if you expect that your children will be picky eaters and then tell them that you expect they will be picky, then they will be.
Discussion: Are You Aware At How You Talk About Food With Your Kids? What Strategies Have Worked For You With Healthy Eating For Kids?