Just Eat It

If there is anything good about struggling with your child over eating healthy it’s the fact that every other parent you see at the grocery store is struggling with the same issue.  It unites us as parents and let’s us feel normal again, but it doesn’t take away the frustration of your child refusing to eat his green beans while munching on a chicken nugget for the third day in a row.

How do we raise a healthy eater?  The hardest part is letting some of the frustration go.  We as parent have to realize that more often than not, our toddler is going to be a selective eater.  It’s normal for them to pick and choose, hem and haw and push items around the plate and not into their mouths.  Don’t get frustrated, and more importantly, don’t show it.  That sweet eyed little child of yours learns pretty quickly how to control the situation.

Also, research has shown that a child needs to be exposed to a new food item 10-15 times before even attempting it.  Too often it takes us parents only 2-3 tries before we give up.  Don’t push the issue.  Put a few brussel sprouts on the plate for a week straight and your child may surprise you, and herself.

One way to get your child to eat what’s been made for dinner is to have him join you in the process of preparing it.  Let him rinse off vegetables while talking about the importance of eating foods that help make us big and strong.  Allow him to be a part of the preparation and reap the benefits of his hard work.

Most importantly, be a good role model.  Instead of snacking on a few chips before the meal, bring out the celery and peanut butter, the hummus and red peppers, or even broccoli and ranch dressing.  They will learn to love it because we do.  We have to find a healthy path before they follow us down one.

What other tips and tricks do you use in your home? Comment below and share with us all. :)

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