It’s getting kids to eat what parents serve that causes so many problems.

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DINA ROSE, PhD is a sociologist, parent educator and feeding expert empowering parents to raise kids who eat right.

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Links

Dinner Together Building Healthy Families One Meal at a Time.

Food Politics Marion Nestle's intelligent take on the politics of food and nutrition.

Fooducate Like Having a Dietician on Speed dial.

Hoboken Family Alliance A terrific resource for people living in the great city of Hoboken, NJ.

The Lunch Tray Everything you need to know about improving school lunches.

Parent Hacks Forehead-Smackingly Smart Tips

Raise Healthy Eaters One of the best blogs (other than my own) for learning to raise healthy eaters.

Real Mom Nutrition Tales from the Trenches. Advice for the Real World. From a mom-nutritionist who knows!

Stay and Play The best indoor playspace on the East Coast. Oh yeah, and it happens to be owned by my brother.

weelicious Great Recipes for Kids 

« Blueberry Smoothies: The Case of the Hidden Spinach | Main | 2013 Resolutions: Lose Weight and Change How Your Kids Eat »
Friday
Jan042013

You Can't Make Me Eat It!

Your kids don’t understand why they should ever eat something other than what they want to eat.

That is the source of your control struggle. And parents don't generally do a good job convincing kids otherwise.

Your kids also don't understand why: 

  • They got to eat pasta yesterday, but they have to eat chicken today.
  • You always let them decide what they want for breakfast but you never let them decide what they want for dinner.
  • Sometimes they can have a snack and sometimes they can't.

To your kids, food decisions seem arbitrary. 

  • If food choices are arbitrary, they can be changed.
  • If decisions are made because of what you want, why can’t they be made because of what I want? 

Your children don’t think these thoughts literally, of course, but these are their sentiments. They are also the source of your control struggle.

In an arbitrary environment, every decision is up for grabs.

How many bites of broccoli do I have to eat before I can have a brownie? Let the bidding begin. Read Raising Lawyers.

Give your children a clear decision-making principle and the food fight diminishes.

Why?

  • Kids learn how decisions are made and start making the right choices themselves.
  • Parents implement clear decision-making principles more consistently. Kids love consistency.

I’m not saying that parents don’t try to explain their thinking to their children; most parents do. But there’s no one underlying theory or principle that parents can give their children for serving pasta one night and chicken the next, or for why their kids can sometimes have a snack but other times they can’t.

Unless, of course, you teach your kids these three principles: 

  • Variety: We eat different things from day-to-day.
  • Proportion: We eat healthier foods more frequently than treat foods.
  • Moderation: We only eat when we are hungry, and we stop when we're full.

Teach these principles with The Big Fix.

 It will change how you and your kids interact around food, and that will change how your kids eat.

~Changing the conversation from nutrition to habits.~

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Reader Comments (2)

I was so proud this morning... my 3 year old son was telling me about the pikelets (little mini pancake type things) that Granny had made him for breakfast yesterday.
Him: "They were yummy. I want to have them another day."
Me: "Another day?"
Him: "Yes, another day. Not today, 'cos we need to eat a va-why-ittee of food."

Woohoo! If you repeat it enough, eventually they'll get it! Now to work on the variety & moderation lessons...

(thanks Dina!)

January 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVestifarian

You made my day Emma.Thanks for sharing this wonderful story. "va-why-ittee!"

Dina

January 4, 2013 | Registered CommenterDina Rose

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