Posted tagged ‘food’

Overheard

March 14, 2014

“My dad complains about wrappers left around the house while he goes around picking them up! Then he nags us about the dinner dishes while we’re still eating, and then starts cleaning those too! We’re like, cool! You can do it all for us!”

dishes

But I want another cookie…

December 12, 2013

The Holidays can wreak nutritional havoc on any child’s eating habits—and picky eaters can contribute much undue stress and conflict if we choose to let their preferences take center spotlight…Let it go.  The bottom line is—one day of bad eating will not ruin your child’s health, and most likely they will remember the party as a whole lot of fun!…Besides, if you’ve ever had too much of a good thing, then well, you know there are lessons to be learned that you’ll only discover for yourself via indulgence. — “Holiday Parties and Picky Eaters” by Vicki Hoefle

I’ve got three pick…um…kids who prefer to have complete control over what they put in their mouths. I gave up the fight a long time ago and it has done wonders for our relationships with each other and for their relationship with food.

“Follow your own path and let the people talk.” —Dante

Daughters with Pringles beaksNowhere have I had to do that more than in the area of feeding my kids. Judgements and opinions about kids and food flow freely and fiercely. Work your boundaries and shut them out. Give your relationships with your kids priority and fit your food values in around that. Figure out how to give…up…the…fight.

I’ll tell you the basics of how I did it, not so you can copy me, but to share just one story of someone following their own path:

  1. I set a few clear limits and enforce them at the grocery store to keep food debates out of the house (e.g. I’m not willing use my money to buy candy, soda or other sugary drinks, or anything with high-fructose corn syrup).
  2. At restaurants I’m willing to pay for one sugary drink, but no refills.
  3. Every day they have a choice to either have what I’m having or make their own meal. (We enjoy a lot of family time cooking side-by-side.)
  4. Parties are treated as opportunities to make their own choices and experience natural consequences.

This approach has worked well for us. A few recent quotes to give you a taste of the results:

  • “I didn’t like it. But I tried it!”
  • “Don’t worry, if I eat all of this then I won’t want it again for a long time. That’s what always happens.”
  • “I don’t want all that sugar. It puts plaque on my teeth.”
  • “Don’t ask if I want broccoli. Just put it in front of me.”
  • “I told my friends not to get me candy for my birthday.”
  • “I know from experience that if I eat chocolate all day I don’t feel good.”
  • “Mom, can we get this? It doesn’t have any high-fructose corn syrup and the ingredients list is pretty short!”

So find your own way to let it go…unless you want to spend a lot of precious time having conversations like this: