The 3 Most Common Nutrition Mistakes Parents Make
You and your family need to eat several times a day. That’s a lot of food choices to make!
Many of my clients struggle with getting their kids to eat healthy food. I hear things like “my child won’t eat vegetables, my child won’t eat meat and my child loves carbs and will only eat bread and crackers.”
I’m a parent and by no means am I perfect but it breaks my heart when I see children eating processed junk food like goldfish shaped crackers and drinking juice boxes.
There is no one right way to feed your children but why wouldn’t you want to offer them the most nutritious food available instead of processed junk food.
I really struggled with writing this article because I know parenting is tough and you are constantly wracked with guilt over whether you are doing it “right”.
We are all going to make mistakes, myself included, so my intent in sharing these common nutrition mistakes parents make is to empower you to make the best nutritional decisions for you and your family.
Knowledge is power. Children learn from their parents so why don’t we set ourselves up for success at meal time!
Here we go!
#1. Keeping processed sugary, “kid-friendly” junk food in your house or diaper bag.
You buy the groceries, not your kids.
This one drives me bonkers! If you don’t want your children to eat processed junk food, why keep it in your house?
Of course your kids are going to ask for it if they know it’s there. What are you going to reach for when your child refuses to eat dinner again?
I know you don’t want your child to go hungry. I get it. You are frustrated and you want an easy solution.
There is nothing wrong with your child having a treat but treats are special and not meant to be enjoyed every day. Children don’t need to eat sugary granola bars and cookies daily.
Action: Buy real food and keep your kitchen stocked with vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, eggs, meat and seafood for delicious meals and easy snacks.
#2. Using food as a bribe.
This is a power struggle that you will not win, plus it’s exhausting!
You control the food that is on the table but your child decides what goes in their mouth.
Bribing is a form of manipulation. We want to teach our kids the natural consequences of eating or not eating certain foods. We all need to trust ourselves around food.
Give yourself a break and don’t even go down this road.
Action: Offer a variety food and let your child take the lead.
#3. Cooking 2 Meals
I see this happening all the time. You don’t need to cook a separate meal for your children.
It’s okay if your kids don’t like everything you make.
Kids need to be repeatedly exposed to a variety of foods. Encourage your child to try one bite but don’t make a big deal out of it. It’s just food and their tastes are still developing.
Try including at least one food you know they will eat at each meal.
Action: Prepare one meal and try to eat together as a family as much as possible.
Your children need and want to spend time with you.
Okay, those are the 3 most common mistakes I see parents making when trying to get healthy food into their kids.
As I said early, there is no ONE right way to feed children and as humans we are going to make mistakes. It’s one of the ways we learn.
Please consider the consequences of feeding your child highly processed food that is loaded with sugar, salt, preservatives, artificial coloring and hydrogenated oils.
We all would be better off just eating real food and avoiding toxins.
Now that I’ve shared my family nutrition philosophy, I would love to hear about yours? What techniques or strategies do you use to encourage adventurous and healthy eating at your house?