Every parent wants to teach their kids the right way, in the best way we know, especially when it comes to health. As a new father of just 2 1/2 years I wonder if I should be as strict as I ‘try’ to be or whether I should let him experience everything. I’ve eliminated refined sugar, highly processed food, dairy (except for butter), eat grass-fed meat only, no bread or soft drink and more than half of my calories from healthy fat. So should I do the same for my little man?
I do try to apply what I practice and it’s one of the toughest things to do with a little boy that loves something one day, only to scream at the sheer mention of it the next.
By denying all the things kids are associated with eating, I’m afraid of creating that child at kids parties that is hovering at the food table shovelling every sugar coated item available.
Rather than stress about all the food I do (or don’t) want him to eat, I have decided on a few guidelines:
– look for creative ways of presenting and combining food. There are so many options when I ask Google.
– make sure he sees me eating and share as much of it as I can, or that he will accept. Sometimes this means we eat off the same plate.
– when we eat out let him choose what he wants. It generally is the most colourful thing on display, but it teaches decisions.
– if he wants to play outside and eat the dirt, then so be it. He’s in a time in his life when he’s developing and building his immune system, so I feel it helps strengthen it by introducing new (but not dangerous) elements of the earth.
– No soft drink
– No fast food restaurants.
– Add healthy fat where I can. He loves macadamia nuts so it’s a good snack. Avocados are hit and miss.
– I boil up eggs and leave them in the fridge and have made a game out of him cracking and peeling the egg himself so it’s fun.
– He can have the same chocolate as I do (no less than 80% cocoa)
So I made a decision to go with the flow and always give the first option in line with what I would have, but ultimately, the decision becomes his. Some me say if he is hungry enough he will eat what I give him, but I’m not at that stage yet. My view is that I want him to eat the foods that I feel are best for him, but that if he absolutely does not want my option, then I want him to at least eat something. It does end up that he’s eating a plate of chicken nuggets and chips!