15 Common Themes from Parents Weighing in on “How to Raise A Healthy Eater”
For a few months, I’ve been researching and writing, and talking with GreenSmoothieGirl readers about their experiences. How to Eat Right In the Real World is my next book to come out January 1. Why write exclusively from my own experience, when I have thousands of genius readers whose ideas just jump off the page?
Of course my book will have lots of recipes and ideas from many of my readers. One of the subjects the book covers is how we get our kids to buy in, so that we’ve done our job, and they leave our homes with solid nutrition habits.
What I learned from reading these parents’ many ideas and experiences are these 15 common themes, your “Cliff’s Notes” for that section of my book:
- Start when babies are weaned. Don’t feed them sugar or even lots of fruits. To help them develop a taste for the best nutrition, feed them greens, vegetables, legumes, avocados, and whole grains.
- Be an example.
- Let kids have choices, among the broad variety of amazing whole foods options.
- Let them participate by planning, choosing, and preparing meals.
- Be consistent in your nutrition teachings and practice.
- Be creative and develop a great repertoire of healthy-eating recipes, habits, and games.
- Make healthy meals and snacks yummy. Find great recipes.
- Make mealtime fun and positive, and speak enthusiastically of your own love of all things nutritious.
- Assume kids want to make good choices and educate them–often, with variety, with good videos and books, with love and humor, telling them what’s in it for them.
- Make connections between health/energy, and good food–let consequences (for them and others) be the teacher, and point them out.
- Don’t have junk food in the house. Period. There’s junk everywhere outside the home, still far too much.
- Grow a garden, to give children ownership of their diet and a connection to their food sources.
- Find a support group! Having friends who are on the same path to whole foods and whole health, is half the battle, since we tend to do what those around us do.
- Before they go to a party, fill them up with nutrient-dense foods (like green smoothies or salad), and/or outright bribe them to skip the cake and ice cream!
- Let love for your children be your motivating force and top priority, guiding you towards balance and peace in your home as well as excellent health.
Your child is truly blessed, if you take the time to feed her excellent nutrition, explain often why you’re doing it, and model good habits to her.