I’m gonna begin this blog post by saying we’re all doing the best we can with what we have. With that said I still feel like I’m gonna perhaps offend someone, which is not my intention at all. Hence, we are all doing the best we can. These are just some thoughts I’ve been having and felt like sharing out loud.
I’m concerned about the foods that go into my kid’s bodies. I want healthier foods not only for myself but for my children, especially! This is my thought as my son slices up an apple this Thursday. Throwback Thursday for us here in the social media world, and since it’s Throwback Thursday I’m thinking of the trips, all the food adventures I’ve had with my kids. My goal was to raise little foodies, and I think I’ve done ok in that department. These days, though, with all that is changing, especially with how busy families can be and with meal times, I find myself wanting to raise kids that have healthier habits. It’s a work in progress. Especially now there are many more outside influences and two homes (3 if you count my parents) they spend their spare time at.
However, through all these years, there has been one constant. Not becoming their own personal chef at meal times here at home. No way, friends!
Here at home, I believe in feeding kids the same meals we (parents) are having. However, over the years I’ve become a tiny bit more lenient. For example, my daughter wants to try out vegetarianism. I didn’t go too out of my way to prepare her something else. She ate everything we did minus the meat. What I’m referring to here is preparing a whole entire meal for your kids. Or buying your kids their own pizza because they don’t like the toppings on yours. In fact, I did know someone who did this when we lived in CA. Now, I’m not trying to judge, you do you. (For the record I did judge more back then. Not proud of it.) I just thought back then it was way absurd, and to this day still do!
Why do parents do this? Do we assume that kids can’t eat the same foods we do?
I notice this even in going out. Most kid menus have the standard, pizza, chicken nuggets, white pasta with butter, etc… We empower them to make choices and then present them with shitty choices? No thank you. And while on this topic, if you have a toddler can we just save everyone some time and you order for them? Please? Cool. Thanks! I mean, if they are two, you are the parent. Order the food for them.
I’m taken back to the time when my kids first ate escargot at a little Parisian bistro in Paris. Yes. Escargot are snails. And yes, they loved it. And yes, I ordered it for them. It was such a fun experience for all of us. And I get that this is a little extreme, not every parent is going to take their kid to Paris, but I’m feeling nostalgic because it’s throwback Thursday and man-oh-man how I wish I could go back in time. Because here’s the thing, like I said before, more outside influences and now sometimes meals are more challenging with my daughter. I don’t even know if she’d eat escargot now. But I do believe I gave her the tools in the building blocks on which to expand her food horizon. Ninety-five percent of the time she is still more than willing to try something instead of dismissing it all together.
So how did I do this? Will what I did work for you? Maybe. Maybe not. But I do have 5 ways on how you can help your child become a better eater.
- Start them young. Introduce a variety of foods, and preferably items that are less sweet at an early age.
- You are gonna have to deal with tantrums. There. I said it. We had a few rough meals when they were kids, but not many. Why? Because I didn’t prepare them special meals. They will eat it if they are hungry, and I’m sorry, but one missed meal does not mean your kids will starve.
- Eat as a family. Around the dinner table. The same things.
- Try everything. You can’t knock it till you’ve tried it.
- Continue exposing them to different foods. Especially at the school age level. That’s when peers & stronger will factor in.
I get that this could be a bit controversial. I can see how. I know some parents who swear by allowing their child to have picky appetites and not to force anything on them, and I get it. By no means am I trying to stifle their own individuality. If you think I am, well then we will have to agree to disagree. You do you, I do me. It’s still how we roll and it works for us.
But I’m curious and I encourage you to stop and think for a second…why is it ok to work on yourself, be the best version of you and not do the same for your child? Why do we do this? If we are to set an example, let’s set it. No matter how tough it is. I could go on and on about this topic. But seriously friends, do you do things out of ease or because you want better for your kids? What are your thoughts on this?