You’re raising kids (or maybe helping with your grandkids)? You and me both, my friend! I’m raising four—two boys and two girls. They all have different personalities, interests, and temperaments. Your kids are “picky,” you say? I get that. I’ve got two kids like that.
I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but I have picked up an arsenal of wisdom, not just from my experience, but from sitting at the knee of other parents who are doing a pretty dang good job. My next book I’m writing is about teaching kids to eat right.
I know what it’s like to work and try to fit healthy cooking in around the cracks in my time. And I’m a single mom, too, so honestly, I can relate to your challenges on so many levels.
I did a YouTube video on things that really help if you’re raising small children—see video 6 on this page:
A few tips might help you, too:
First, make lists and post them inside your cupboard to consult when you’re making a grocery list or deciding what to have for dinner. Those lists should include favorite nutritious menu ideas, recipes, and ingredient lists.
And make a list of simple whole foods to have on hand that you observe each of your children enjoying.
Second, don’t be afraid to let them in the kitchen to make their own stuff, with you just providing the ingredients. And let them experiment—as the family green smoothie chef, for instance. (You can give them a recipe and ask them to follow it. Ask them to double it, and they’re exercising the “math brain!”) Owning a kitchen project gives a child a sense of accomplishment. She’ll make a bigger mess in the kitchen than you would have, of course, but you’ll be glad you allowed it, when it’s all over.
Third, develop an arsenal of much healthier treats that you make or buy, that your family enjoys. That’s the worst thing, when we start eating fried and corn-syrup- or sugar-sweetened treats. Ch. 11 of my 12 Steps to Whole Foods program is all about treats, the kind you don’t have to feel guilty about. If your relatives (or ex-spouse) are open to it, you can send those treats instead of the ones they serve.
Fourth, praise them for their good choices and give them a lot of positive feedback for their kitchen creations that involve whole foods. Make sure you point out when they seem to have more energy or a more sunny mood as a result of their good choices. Keep it POSITIVE, POSITIVE, POSITIVE!
And here are some additional tips from the site:
May your efforts pay off with children who support you and learn to love good, natural food!
To Your Health,