Do you feed your kids the way YOU eat?
Or at least the way you wished you ate? Plenty of fruits and vegetables, less crap?
- If you are reading this and thinking, “I would feed my kids the way I eat… if only my kids would eat the way I do” then I’m not talking to you (just yet).
- But if you are reading this and thinking, “Well…I don’t usually buy myself Goldfish crackers, and I rarely reach for a GoGurt yogurt, but I give these items to my kids on a regular basis,” then tell me: Why?
Why do you feed your kids foods you wouldn’t, shouldn’t, or don’t want to eat?
Yesterday, in response to 10 Ways Improving Your Kids’ Snacking Will Improve YOUR Life a reader commented:
“I’ve been thinking of doing away with my daughter’s snack food because I’m really unhappy with the things she’s eating (a lot of simple carbs). These are easy to grab snacks but it means another temptation for ME! I find myself finishing her goldfish or pirates booty and consequently have put on weight since she started snack foods. This isn’t the way I want us to eat, or teach her to eat. We’re going to be doing an overhaul in our pantry. Thanks!”
Well, Natalie, you got me thinking. Why do we feed kids the way we do?
1) We live in a society where we expect kids to eat poorly.
So we set the bar extremely low.
2) We live in a society where food manufacturers spend billions to teach us how to eat.
These foods are for snacking. Those are for breakfast. These foods are for toddlers. Those are for adults. This paradigm locks in our choices.
3) We live in a society that embraces a Milk and Cookies Culture for kids.
Childhood is the time for sweets and treats. (It’s kind of wholesome, isn’t it!)
4) We live in a society that saves “nutrition” for meals.
That makes us think junk food is OK as long as it’s for snack. Read Snacking and The Nutrition Zone Mentality
5) We live in an “at-least” society.
As in, “at least it’s not a potato chip!” Read The Potato Chip Challenge: How We Decide What Snacks to Give Our Kids.
But this is what I know for sure: Feeding kids one way while hoping they’ll learn to eat another way is a form of fantasy.
We’ve got to feed kids today the way we want them to eat when they are grown up. Otherwise, we’re inadvertently setting our kids up for a stinker: They’ll have to change their habits when they’re older. And that is a lot harder than learning to eat right in the first place.
If you feed your kids differently than you eat because they won’t eat any other way…
- Kids Eats Q&A: Should you feed your kids exactly what you eat?
- Think Snack TIME, Not Snack FOOD.
- The Truth About “Child-Friendly” Foods
Eating is a matter of math. Kids learn to like the foods they eat most frequently.
There’s no escaping this cold, hard truth.
Every time you feed your kids you’re teaching them something about what, when, why and how much to eat.
The only question that remains is: what are you going to teach them?
~Changing the conversation from nutrition to habits.~