When my daughter was a baby her favorite foods were squash, green beans, and sweet potatos. The best part is she still loves these foods. I stongly believe thtat she still loves them because I continued to feed them to her. I get very discouraged when I see kids who will not eat healthy foods. You know the ones…they get labeled as “picky eaters.” So why are they so picky? They ate healthy food as infants. So what happened? I feel like kids aren’t offered those foods any more or at least not very often once they begin eating foods other than baby food. Society does’t help much considering that every kids menu has nuggets, fries, mac and cheese, and hot dogs as choices. I’m not a fanatic. It’s ok for kids to eat those things sometimes. It’s important to remember that fast food and foods with high amounts of presertatives are addictive. Kids will not want good nutrucious food if they are given the addictive kind too often. So how can this be improved upon? First, parents need to talk to their kids about eating better and make a committment that all family members are going to eat better. Second, get the kids involved with food choice and preperation. Let them help shop and cook. They are move likely to eat what they have helped to prepare. Even kids as young as two can help. In order for kids to eat healthy food parents must prepare/offer these choices to their kids. Next, kids look to their parents for an example. So go ahead to load up your plate with good nutricious fruits and vegetables. Lastly, sit down at the table and eat. I’ve always been a fan of the dinner table but after doing a little research I’m now a HUGE fan of sitting down at the table together and eating.
- Kids ages 9-14 who ate at the table ate more fruits and vegetables, drank less soda, ate less fried foods, and ate more nutrients
- Eating at the table provides a good opportunity to introduce new foods
- Eating at the table fosters more portion control (restaurant meals are 60% higher in calories than meals prepared at home)
- Kids who eat at the table are less likely to be depressed or committe sucide, have less eating disorders, and delay sex
- Eating at the table together 5 times per week lowers teen smoking rates, drinking alcohol, and drug use
- Teens who eat with the family less than 3 times per week are more likely to get lower grades on report cards
- The table provides the opportunity for conversation that helps expand vocabulary
- Eating at the table also lowers stress for all family members
- Familis who eat at the table together save money on food cost
So what are you waiting for…journey over to your kitchen table tonight, share a meal with the family, talk.