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15 Common Themes from Parents Weighing in on “How to Raise A Healthy Eater”

Robyn Openshaw - Nov 13, 2013 - This Post May Contain Affiliate Links

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Be an example.
  3. Let kids have choices, among the broad variety of amazing whole foods options.
  4. Let them participate by planning, choosing, and preparing meals.
  5. Be consistent in your nutrition teachings and practice.
  6. Be creative and develop a great repertoire of healthy-eating recipes, habits, and games.
  7. Make healthy meals and snacks yummy. Find great recipes.
  8. Make mealtime fun and positive, and speak enthusiastically of your own love of all things nutritious.
  9. 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.
  10. Make connections between health/energy, and good food–let consequences (for them and others) be the teacher, and point them out.
  11. Don’t have junk food in the house. Period. There’s junk everywhere outside the home, still far too much.
  12. Grow a garden, to give children ownership of their diet and a connection to their food sources.
  13. 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.
  14. 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!
  15. 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.

Posted in: Lifestyle, Relationships, Tools & Products, Whole Food

2 thoughts on “15 Common Themes from Parents Weighing in on “How to Raise A Healthy Eater””

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  1. Lonna says:

    If I had it to do over again…I would have raised my children on a healthier diet…If I only knew then what I know now…IF. IF is over. I’m not looking back. Now is the time to move forward. Robyn, I ran into your website by happenstance. After the first page, I was curious. I’ve been on a journey to find good health for myself and my family. After scanning through page after page of your site, I am convinced that this is the pathway to a new and brighter way of living.

    I am married, 2 kids, 1 of which no longer gets a choice of what types of food to eat, as he has been locked up in our “system” for over a year now. He went in for a careless 19 year old boy thing (wait, we’re adults at 17, right?) Hopefully he’ll be out in 2017, and I will then share mom’s new healthy lifestyle personally with him. My daughter’s health, she’s 15, has been my primary concern. Like her mother, overweight, tired, depressed, and searching for a way to escape the S.A.D., one cold after another, or flu, etc., especially right after the school season starts, which gets passed around the family one at a time.

    We’re so ready for a change. I was so incredibly inspired by this website last night, that I got up this morning to continue reading (and do my own research, as always.) I’ve never been much of a meat eater, and if I ate meat, it was disquised as “taco’s” or “casserole” or “pizza,” or the like. I’ve been on countless diets all of my life, to lose weight, successfully, until off the “diet.” In these last few years I’ve really given up “dieting,” but have been searching for ways to feed the family healthier, and have them accept it as “good food.” Therein lies the biggest challenge – being the “meal-maker” for the family and trying to change their habits AFTER years of unhealthy processed foods, sugars and fats. It’s one thing to say, “I’M going to eat healthy,” and quite another to get them to say, “THEY’RE” going to eat healthy, too! I HIGHLY recommend to younger parents to START NOW!

    So we bought a “Champion” blender at an estate sale recently – had some veggies and fruit, and started juicing – once. It was horrible! We threw it down the drain! Then I cooked dinner. I’ve been back to the vegetarian diet since about June 2013, letting my hubby and daughter forage for “meat” on their own, elsewhere. Recently I had my hubby help to relocate the meat and cheese in our upstairs freezer to the spare one downstairs. He had a hard time toting “his food” down the stairs, but it was really in the way of my seeing what I had left to cook and prepare meals with. I told him he could grill for himself whenever he liked. Now, don’t get me wrong – this is the best husband in the world! He is not “whipped,” by any means, he thinks for himself, but he is very considerate and sweet to his wife. 🙂 He took the meat downstairs.

    My daughter has been having a lot of digestional problems since I started cooking vegetarian meals. Too much gas, sour stomach, tummy aches, very concerning to me. Then I figured I was probably using too much soy in our diets for protein…what is a mom to do? …..more research! And that’s when I found YOU!

    Not only have I dieted relentlessly, juiced, gone vegetarian, even mostly vegan, I’ve been interested in gearing away from “traditional medicines/drugs.” I really have a problem with “a prescription for everything,” and I’m really tired of everyone in my family being sick – more antibiotics, more prescriptions, cough syrup, asthma inhaler. I’ve looked into oils on my own, and it can be overwhelming! Whose is best? What’s right? What do I do with these? I believe that our ancestors had it right, with their holistic approach to illness, I believe that the S.A.D is exactly that “SAD.” I believe that tap water should NOT be treated with fluoride and other unnecessary chemicals. I have felt almost hopeless…until…this morning – I continued my quest of education through your website and was highly impressed. When I got to the video about the oils, and cleaning out the medicine cabinet, I actually cried! I cried – can you believe that? Where did these tears come from? I don’t cry at the drop of a hat! (Ladies, hear me now, do NOT waste YEARS of depriving your family of nutrients, of sabatoging their health with the S.A.D! Listen to what Robyn says in this website! I KNOW her knowledge to be true – and Robyn, now you’ve provided me a way to harness all my intuition and research into an easy to follow, affordable plan, that my family WILL enjoy – oh, the relief! Dear new friend of mine of the internet – thank you. Thank you.

    And thus, I jumped up to make a “smoothie” half way through my studies of the myriad of info found on your site, after running across your blog article. which lists the ingredients for your Green Smoothies. I only have an Ostersizer (I think that’s what it’s called) but I didn’t care even if it broke the machine, I HAD to try this! I had everything in the fridge, except lemon, so I used a little bottled lemon juice. Then I poured it into a mug…looked into the glass, took a moment to pause with hope, and took my first drink…I was SO happy! It was GOOD! I COULD DO THIS! Then I said it outloud, “I can do this! THEY can do this! Then I literally ran back into my office and jumped back on the computer and found the nearest meeting I could go to – bought 2 tickets for myself and my daughter (we’ll bring hubby in on this soon enough,) and texted my daughter and told her I was bringing lunch to school and we were “eating” at the park. I packed some granola, raisins & almonds, rice and flax cakes, and cucumber sticks and left! She LOVED it! We can’t wait to go to the meeting!

    Thank you dearly for your inspiration and new hope!

  2. Diana Haroldsen says:

    Tonight my 9-year-old suggested that instead of leaving milk and cookies for Santa Claus, we should leave him a green smoothie!

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