Encourage Your Child to Make Healthier Food Decisions
It is more important to discuss food in terms of how it benefits our bodies than to categorize it as “good” or “bad.” Ensure that children have access to a wide variety of nutritious foods, but do not fully limit them.
Our primary motivation as parents is to provide for and protect our children. This means that we care for and support them emotionally. This means that we provide them with nourishment in the form of food. This act of nurturing mixes food and affection from the earliest days of breastfeeding and formula feeding. We’ve felt like we’ve failed ever since our children threw home-pureed vegetables all over the kitchen.
The worry that we aren’t raising our children the way we “should” can return when they are older and less receptive to our nutritional advice. With so many options for meals outside of the healthy boundaries of our kitchen tables, this is especially true.
We need to focus on messaging, access, and moderation in order to solve this problem.
Navigate Food-Related Messaging
Telling your daughter to stop eating junk food doesn’t work. In fact, some research suggests that restricting specific meals may encourage your child to seek them out on his or her own, leading to instances of food theft.
To get our children to take our advice, we have to employ some creative solutions. Consider yourself a junk food marketing strategist. How do you get your child to listen to you while you’re trying to get him to eat healthier?
Our understanding of eating behaviors suggests categorizing foods as “good” or “bad” is unproductive. A taboo-like mentality regarding particular meals can contribute to negative feelings about food, such as guilt. It’s preferable if food and eating aren’t centered on emotions.
Forget about what we should or shouldn’t eat and instead focus on what food can do for our bodies. Give your body the energy it needs to keep growing by using language that is particular and utilitarian in nature. If we want our bodies to be able to run quickly or think clearly or avoid becoming sick, we need to eat a diet rich in the nutrients our bodies require to do so.
Observe Her Use of the Internet
Consider what your child typically eats at home and at school to get an idea of their eating habits. Forbidding junk food in the cupboard or at school isn’t the answer because kids are skilled at getting their hands on the illegal. There are strategies to reduce unhealthy options and boost the availability of healthy ones.
Since my school-age children discovered the wonders of cheese dust snack foods, I’ve made it a priority to always have fresh fruits and veggies on hand. There are certain days when I even set out a healthy snack tray on the counter so that I can get it quickly. Cucumbers and strawberries are two foods that my kids are likely to eat without even realizing it.
Customize the Process of Self-Control
Children’s eating habits are influenced by their parents’ parenting styles, according to research in the parenting science canon. Modesty is the key to success in dealing with children’s dietary preferences; and—drumroll please!–it’s all about the child!
Have you ever observed that your youngster has her own thoughts and opinions? It’s true, as far as we know from research. Our children’s temperament and personality traits are important, no matter how well we raise them. If there is food in front of them, they will eat some youngsters will eat what they find to be the most appealing; others are more sensitive to texture, which puts them at risk of not eating enough. Your parenting success may also be influenced by the unique traits of your child.
Finally, we must treat our children’s eating habits as if they were a marathon rather than a sprint. The fruits and vegetables they eat now will serve as a guide for their entire lives, and we’ll certainly likely include some junk food.