Are You Making These Feeding Mistakes With Your Kids?
There's a new book out there, that I wish I had about 18 years ago. I seem to have done okay with my first kid. He'll eat just about anything. The second won't eat ANYTHING, and the third I must have done something right because he's a good eater too...but I definitely say we eat whenever we want...and now I'm thinking that maybe that's not such a good thing. The following tips are from a new book called "Fearless Feeding."
TIP NUMBER 1: DON'T INTERFERE WITH THEIR EATING
Whether you think your kid is eating too much or too little, interfering with their natural regulation of eating, you can mess them up. If they are hungry, let them eat. If they aren't, don't force them to eat. We have to let them figure out what is good for their body, and we're all born with a 'regulator' for our own bodies, and we are all different. Stop interfering!
TIP NUMBER 2: NO STRUCTURE
My biggest mistake. I feel like if I'm hungry, I eat. But apparently, I'm teaching my kids how to eat out of habit, not hunger. I guess a better method is to structure meals and snacks at predictable times during the day, and have healthy snacks and foods on hand for those times, but don't just let them eat whenever they want. They may not be hungry; just bored.
TIP NUMBER 3: SHORT ORDER COOKING
Well...I make a meal. Everyone eats it, except one child. I make him his own meal. Apparently, I'm teaching my son that I don't believe in his abilities to figure foods out. The right thing to do, is make the meal, and try to include a couple things that you KNOW your kid will eat, so they don't walk away hungry. Encourage them to try new foods, but don't force them to do it. I think this is a fine line. My son will try it out of guilt, and then proceed to puke his guts out after he tries...Good luck with this one.
TIP NUMBER 4: DON'T BE A VEGGIE PUSHER
70% of children are sensitive to the bitter tastes in vegetables. This will fade over time. The fix? The book says there's nothing in veggies they need that they can't get from fruits. However, offer veggies in a variety of ways, like with ranch dip, or in a salad; and maybe it will look more appealing.
TIP NUMBER 5: DON'T FIX WHAT ISN'T BROKEN
As parents, we sometimes over think our child's eating habits at certain ages of development; from baby to toddler, from child to teen; realize that kids are learning along the way. Just be encouraging and make sure they aren't going to the extreme.