Today’s post is written by Dr. Orlena Kerek of the Snotty Noses blog. On One Time Through, we talk quite a bit about how to parent positively so our kids grow up emotionally healthy. Over at Snotty Noses, Dr. Kerek (a paediatrician) and mother of 4, talks quite a bit about how to raise kids to be physically healthy – and especially how to help them develop healthy eating habits. I hope you enjoy reading her tips today and join me in taking her free upcoming online workshop.
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Children are fussy. Fact. Toddlers are even more fussy. Fact. Sometimes (well quite often actually) they drive their poor parents to despair. What can we do?
We want our children to eat healthily but when we give them a bowl of healthy, tasty vegetable pasta, it goes flying over our heads and lands with a squelchy splat on our beautiful white walls. Apparently your toddler doesn’t feel like eating pasta today.
It’s tricky. Toddlers are especially tricky. They’re going through a developmentally interesting and exciting time. That transition between being a baby and a ‘big boy boy’ or a ‘big boy girl’ as my children call them.
Learning how to eat, learning how to talk, learning what they want and don’t want, how to express themselves. They learn a lot in short amount of time.
It’s tricky for parents too. They have to learn how to cope with this behaviour. How to stop a tantrum, have an enjoyable family meal AND feed your toddler a healthy diet? No small feat. And it’s at this time that habits start to form.
Hopefully, these habits will be good habits, forming healthy eating habits for life. The beauty of it is that if your child has healthy eating habits, they don’t think of themselves as ‘eating healthily’. They are just eating food that they like, that is healthy.
I have toddler twins…yep two two year olds. Can you imagine our dinner times? (Think noisy and messy). Let me introduce you to Celeste and Sebastian.
A normal day for us includes…
– Throwing food, knives, forks, spoons, bowls.
– Picky eating…only eating what they want. (Sebastian is very good as saying “more…bread”)
– Wanting lots of biscuits! (And picking out the peas!)
– Screaming at the dinner table (”I wanted a blue bowl”) In fact, lying on the floor rolling around and screaming.
– Just not eating.
– Jumping around the table and their chairs.
– Getting down from the table and wandering off.
– Insisting on sitting on mummy or daddy’s lap then trying to eat their food, then getting bored of their food and throwing it across the table.
Sounds like feeding time at the zoo! But you know what? All of that is normal for a toddler.
Toddlers are fussy and they have very bad table manners. I wouldn’t take them to dinner with the Queen. A lot of that behaviour is about behaviour and not about eating. As far as eating goes, this is what I would say to you…
- Offer your children healthy food at regular intervals through out the day (breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner or however your routine works.)
- Don’t pressure them to eat.
- Trust them to eat when they are hungry and stop when they’re full.
It easier said than done I know. But these are the basic rules.
If you do offer them healthy food (think fruit, vegetables, home cooked food, less packets) they will hopefully grow up to eat healthily. And it’s in adulthood that they will reap the rewards.
Eating healthily can halve your risk of getting cancer. If you eat healthily you won’t have a weight problem and all the complications that go with it. What better gift can you give your child? The gift of health (or the best chance of health that you can get as nothing in life is guaranteed.)
FREE Healthy Eating for Children Workshop
Here’s how I can help. Firstly, I have an awesome FREE workshop that you can attend. It’s on Wednesday, Jan 28th. We’ll look at how you can help your children. It’s totally free, you can take it from home, you can learn, and that’s it (there’s a recording if you can’t make the live session.)
Healthy Eating for Children Course
I also do an awesome online course, which is not free. But it is great. It’s $350 which does sound a lot if you compare it to a book. But if you think of giving your children the gift of a healthy life…remember that nothing in life is guaranteed, but there are things that you can do to increase your chances and healthy eating and exercise are up there at the top.
If you could give that gift to your children, it’s a small price to pay. If you want to know more about the course…check out this page.
Just want to come along to the free session? It would be great to see you.
Just register here.
Dr Orlena Kerek is a paediatric doctor and mother of 4 small scamps. She writes about helping children to eat healthily, without lots of stress and worry. It’s all about building healthy habits that last a lifetime. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and at her blog Snotty Noses.
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To healthy kids!