Our guest this week is a mother of three kids, a graduate of Health Education, president and developer of the Super Healthy Kids, Healthy Habits Plate. A very busy individual indeed, please welcome Amy Roskelley!
Many parents are concerned about their kids eating behaviors. Kids can be picky, stubborn, and can go for long periods of time surviving on mac and cheese. It can get even more frustrating when you find something healthy they like, only for them to reject it the next day. So how do you make sure they are getting what they need without turning into the Grinch? Here are a few ideas.
• First, chill out. If they are growing and have energy to sustain them for the demands of their little lives, than you probably are overly concerned.
• Stop buying what you don’t want them to eat. If you truly think your kid will starve if you stop buying hot dogs altogether, I promise you are wrong. I cut my 5 year old off cold turkey from hot dogs, and 1 year later, he is still asking for hot dogs. But we don’t have any, so he eats something else.
• Let them get hungry. Food always tastes better, and they are more likely to try something if they are hungry.
• For preschoolers, use the red light/ green light method. Foods are all assigned red, yellow, or green. Green light foods can be eaten anytime; yellow light foods, sometimes; and red light foods should be avoided.
• Do not regulate the amount your child is eating. You should be the one to decide WHAT they eat; they can decide HOW MUCH they eat. Leave the “clean plate club” in the past where it belongs.
• Be a role model. If you eat good, healthy food, your child will more likely adopt similar habits. It’s been proven example is more effective than bribing when it comes to eating something.
• Place a poster of the food guide pyramid into your pantry. Kids as little as 2, will look at our poster to decide what food they want to eat. Educating them about variety and good food choices gives them information rather than battling the “because I said so” model.
Fantastic tips! Amy has such a creative way to get the positive message out at her blog. The kids in her blog are Cereal Boy, 9 years old. Then The Flip-flopper, She’s 7 years old. Also there is ketchup boy….he is 4. Visit Super Healthy Kids for fun, healthy reading!