You don’t want to get into a food battle by demanding that your child eat a certain kind or amount of food.
They are difficult to win and even when you do, instead of developing good attitudes about food, you’re entering into a power struggle that’s not even about food… it’s about who’s going to win.
Our Two Responsibilities
1. Provide healthy food
2. Teach our children to make wise food choices and develop their physical taste for healthy food
“It is better to let your child be hungry than it is to allow him
to perpetuate bad habits with food that adds
nothing to their healthy anyways.”
Wow, did I just say that? Do you need to read that again?
Make healthy food available for your child. Let him choose whether he wants to eat it or not. Do not prepare something else that you know he will eat and don’t allow him to forage. The only food that should be available is the healthy food you’ve prepared.
If your child chooses not to eat, put it away for later. If they choose to eat later (but before the next meal), present it again. If my child can bear the hunger till the next mealtime, I allow my own new choice. Example: If eggs were for breakfast and my child chose not to eat them, only eggs are available before lunch. But when lunchtime arrives, I don’t make the child eat eggs. They can now choose to eat what’s on the menu for our lunch if they like.
The natural consequence of choosing not to eat is hunger! This is a powerful motivator. Have you noticed that it’s really difficult to make a selection from a menu at a restaurant when you’re super-hungry? It all looks good – you’d love to eat any of it! Use this to your advantage in training your children.
When we remove the power struggle and put the burden on the child, we’re teaching them to make choices for themselves. The focus remains on the food.
Our job as a parent goes beyond providing for the physical needs of our children.
This topic is less about food and more about us as parents.