October 03, 2012


Does it really matter if they are 18 weeks or 18 years old? Parents, start giving your child the decision-making role when its mealtime. This not only satisfies them as being able to decide but it gives them credibility for learning, knowing and recognizing their hunger which leads to building their conscience on health and wellness. Working with them in this manner slowly encourages children to learn to respect and trust their body to start and stop eating.

Now, lets translate! We let them decide but that's not deciding to eat chicken nuggets, pizza buffet or some of the other fast choices readily available today. No! Children for the most part are active little soldiers and when it comes to fitness, they generally are moving from sun up to sundown (At least my two children do!)We as parents still have to attempt and try our best to offer nutritious  and attractive meal and snack options at regular times and then let your child decide if they are hungry or not. Resist the urge to bribe of fight with them, the more pleasant the mealtime, the more your child will come to appreciate their health and wellness.

Lets now take a look at a few options or strategies if you will that may make the healthy options more enticing to your little one:

Strike a balance. Offer foods from 3 to 4 food groups. Serve a protein, Carbohydrate and at least 2 fruits and veggies. This is also a perfect time to implement a heatlhy meal replacement shake at snack time as well to curve their desire for normal unhealthy snacks. Our kids, 8 and 5 both enjoy blending a shake for a quick on the go snack.

Frame the choices. Always strive to offer two good healthy options as a food choice. If you allow the child to pick and choose then likely they will opt to have those cookies or bag of chips however if you give them a choice of two healthy options, they are sure to make a great decision to support a healthy lifestyle! For example, "Would you like orange segments or berries?"

Get them involved. Try involving your child at an early age...its never too late. Usually, children have no control what ends up on their plate in front of them. Change that view by allowing to some involvement and giving them credit for the food that end up on the dinner table Every child can have certain tasks in the preparation process, hey this creates responsibility also. Take them grocery shopping, allow them to search healthy recipes or websites for tasty but healthy ideas.

Lead by example. Children often need repeated exposure to new foods or concepts before they are willing to try it for the first time. Never give up on offering healthy foods even if your child refuses it, just keep serving it, perhaps prepared slightly differently or used in a different way. Eventually they will see you enjoying it and they will be less reluctant and will give it a taste to verify for themselves.

Hey, feeding children no matter their age involves tons of shared responsibility between both he parent and the child because as we all know...parents simply cant control it all!

~We will either find a way, or make one,

Robert Grissom

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