In my last blog, I wrote about the importance of creating a positive framework for feeding children thereby helping them learn about healthy food choices. Here are some ideas for helping our kids (and ourselves) develop a positive relationship with food:
- Role model eating variety and healthy choices based on the needs of your family.
- Use mindfulness skills to pause and really enjoy time spent nourishing your body and enjoying the company of your family. Children really do learn what they live.
- When asked about new foods, talk about your choice based on taste as well as the health benefits. When possible bring kids into the preparation process. They are more likely to enjoy the food if they enjoyed time making it with you!
- Even in a family with multiple food allergies, mealtime can still be fun! Just keep in mind that a big part of family meals is about enjoying the time together. Think about conversation starters, silly social games, or ways your family enjoys interacting.
- Mealtime usually is not the time for educating about what you are eating, and it definitely is not the time to critique what you are eating. Once the food is in front of you, time to let go of the decision making process and enjoy.
- While food shopping or preparing a meal, you may find teachable moments. This is when you can slip in the nutrition information about how the food will help your child be healthy.
Many families are trying to add more fat to the family diet as a way to embrace research on the health benefits of eating fat and to help balance out the diet of those who might have problems digesting gluten. I asked a dear friend and colleague, Janice Bissex, MS, RD, LDN for some recipe ideas and she sent along a long list. Janice has been helping families for many years discover healthy and fun ways to eat together. She is an amazing resource for families to discover culinary nutrition. Here is the link to her blog and some yummy recipe ideas: