Sitting in the small dining room of our dear host, our oldest son announced, “I don’t like this syrup. These eggs aren’t the same as how we eat them.” And it hit us like a rock: We had been enabling our son to be ungrateful and selfish in the area of food.
Oh, we were working on it. He was served what we ate, and if he didn’t like it or eat it, he didn’t get anything else. This was fine by him as he never had a big appetite. But, by not really battling his will, we had missed the mark, and the war continued to rage as well as the pickiness.
Teaching a child to eat is a full time job with some kids, and it can really wear you down. This can be even harder when transitioning to a Primal eating pattern. After all, wasn't it a good 'ol french fry fried in seed oil with tons of salt that you first used to quiet him at a restaurant?
Your child's health and wellness begins with the food you put on his plate. And, training them in righteousness, even in eating, is our RESPONSIBILITY. What you don’t want is the scenario above, an ungrateful hard-to-cook-for future husband, or a daughter who develops type 2 diabetes.
Here are my 5 tips, plus a bonus, for winning the food war, building character, and getting your kids on the path to healthy eating.
1. Eliminate the S.A.D. Foods Processed and packaged foods, canned goods and, yes, grains contain few nutrients and many empty calories. But did yo know these foods have been engineered to create an addictive eating pattern - remember the Lay's potato chip slogan, "Betcha can't eat just one"?
In his book, Wired to Eat, Rob Wolf points out that highly processed, hyperpalatable foods have the same affect on the brain neurotransmitter, dopamine, as pornography. Wow!
Simple, healthy meals become so lacking in stimulation relative to our nearly limitless options of pseudo foods, that normal meals begin to taste like cardboard. Its no wonder children are turning up their noses to real food! And, because these foods lack any real nutrients, you're kids are often hungrier for more.
Next time they ask for Taco Flavored Doritos, try handing them a taco instead!
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2. Law VS Grace We all have things we like and don’t like. Someone doesn't like olives or mushrooms? That’s okay, more for you at home! However, don't let him pick them out of food served by others or announce his displeasure.
The Principle: My tastes are not more important than the one cooking for me.
(*Obviously, speaking with your host regarding an allergy or an illness is completely acceptable)
3. Don’t Decide For Them
Never announce, “Oh, he doesn’t like that” or “That will be too spicy” or “She’s never had that”. Giving them an excuse before giving them opportunity to sample and bend their will is a sure LOSS in the battle.
4. Snacks Are Unnecessary
Trust me. Your child is holding out because she knows mom will not want her to starve. If your child isn’t eating at meal time, do not reward her when it’s not.
5. Variety VS Same-Ol ’
Too much of a good thing' becomes too much. I could eat taco salad every day, but my family? Not so much. PB & J every day for lunch is not only unhealthy, it doesn’t stretch the taste buds. Mix it up enough to train, but build trust by giving them what they like.
BONUS 6. Eating Eggs at 40 I taught myself to eat and enjoy eggs the year I turned 40. My sons all eat avocado and sweet potatoes after learning the health benefits. Tastes change, grow, and alter. Reintroduce those foods they say they “don’t like, Mommy.”
Want to know more about Primal eating? Don't know where to begin?
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