Have you ever spoken to your kids about nutrition? When kids are young, they’re drawn to all sorts of terrible food through powerful marketing techniques.
To combat this and make sure that your children are making healthy choices, it’s important to show them how to make good choices. Without this guidance they would be left to the mercy of companies looking to exploit your child’s desire for sweet and salty foods.
In this post, I want to share some of the important pointers I’ve discovered in my own parenting journey on how to talk to about nutrition to your children.
Talk About Food as a Family and Teach Some Cooking Basics
One awesome thing about little children is that they love to help! Your children are always looking for ways they can make themselves useful and available to you.
In a situation like this, it would be a good idea to utilise this part of their drive and get them involved with what you are trying to do! If you make discussions a family matter, you’ll get more honest and complete feedback about things that you are discussing.
During dinner time, you can also get them to help you with some light tasks. Tell them what spices do and what they can do to change the flavour of food. If they’re really small, teach them how to be safe around people in the kitchen. Persistence is key with small children, but they will grow in their awareness as you instruct them.
Teach Them That Food Isn’t Good or Bad
This is one of the most important food lessons I’ve personally learned, and I try to remind myself of it all the time when the topic of food comes up with my children!
Food is just what it is, so it would be unhealthy to project negative attitudes about certain types of food to your kids. The best thing to do would be to tell them which foods are for special occasions like cakes, and which should be eaten on a daily basis.
If you project negativity and tell them that certain foods are bad foods, then it could create stress for your child, or they might turn the other way and view the taboo food as something desirable.
These types of attitudes can carry on into adulthood, which can be very difficult to correct without some form of cognitive therapy.
Don’t Make Negative Comments About Yourself
Everyone feels down about themselves sometimes. It’s difficult for some people to be happy with how they look, but when you say negative things about yourself to your child, it can give them an extreme view of the importance of attractiveness.
Children soak up all kinds of behaviours, so you should be aware that observing that kind of talk could cause them to become more judgmental of themselves and others around them.
Don’t Force Them to Eat It All
During the early years of the 20th century, the world was facing serious food shortages in many of the most developed countries. During that time, attitudes about waste were created that caused lots of frustrated parents to force their children to eat all of the food on their plate regardless of the fullness of the child.
Children are naturally able to tell when they are fully sated. When you force them to eat more than they need, it can create a disconnect with their natural senses and cause them to overeat on a regular basis. If you are worried about waste, then it’s a better idea to serve smaller portions.
Do you talk to your children about food and nutrition? What are your top tips for fellow parents?