Developing good eating habits with little people
It seems like I share these tips on a somewhat regular basis with friends and acquaintances so I thought I'd share them here. (If I believed in jinxes I might not--- since Jack is too young to prove my eating hints work.)
I believe in moderation... what you'll read below seems extreme but my children do get treats and we do deviate from this plan but this is the foundation that I believe has made them into little people that love broccoli and ask for carrots for snack
1. Stop the snacks! We do not have snacks in cars or strollers or in between meals. We have three meals and a snack after nap. That's it. My girls are hungry and meal time and I believe that makes for a good eater. I see moms and dads use snacks as coaxes to get children to behave. I don't want to use food in that way for my children. I have my own food issues... (too much and too frequent!).... so I am aware of instilling better habits in my children.
2. Eliminate all the processed foods. I know I'd rather have a Ritz cracker and piece of cheese than broccoli... why wouldn't my girls?? We just don't have those easy foods readily available so they aren't an option. Healthy foods in the house make for easier meals.
3. Serve meals in courses. This is especially important when little ones are under three. If I set a plate down with a serving of spaghetti, asparagus, salad, and bread, then guess what?? The bread goes first followed by the spaghetti. The green stuff will likely never be eaten. However, if they get food in courses, the salad and asparagus are gobbled down because they are HUNGRY and they want to eat. We then follow with protein and carbs.
4. Have meals together and make it clear that a meal is a meal is a meal. There aren't short-ordered cooks in my house. This week I made a ground turkey and rice dish that may not have been that visually appealing. Both girls chose not to eat it... Guess what?? That's okay. They ate their veggies. They knew that was dinner. They never complained about being hungry... and they were fine with just a little dinner.
5. Now that I have a three year old, I am learning that talking about food is powerful. She knows what food is her "grow food" and which food is her "sometimes food". For example, we had an ice cream treat on Saturday. She put the words to it and said she loves "sometimes food" but she needs to eat more "grow food" to get tall! Little people need to understand they are fueling their bodies to go on to do great things!
PS- I struggle with my weight. In fact, I need and want to lose some weight right now. Following these same rules is helping me!