I often get people ask me how do you get kids to eat healthy? They wont finish their vegetables. All they want is junk. And they ask me how I get mine to eat like she does. My answer? Because that's all I give her. And you might be thinking, that's too simple. Or I've tried that, they will refuse to eat. Them let them! They won't starve! Sooner or later, if they are hungry, they will eat. Kids choose worse options because they are given worse options in the first place! If you are given a choice between an apple and some grapes, there is no choice for candy.
I was having a conversation with my daughter this morning on our back porch. She is 2 almost 3 years old keep in mind. She saw some kind of bug outside and told me it was scary. She then told me that she saw a spider with her mother the other day and it was scary as well. So I started asking her if other animals were scary. Snakes? Yes. Sharks? Yes. Lions? Yes. Tigers? Yes. Bears? Yes. They are all scary. Dogs? No. Cats? No. Giraffes? No. Elephants? No. But I started thinking, who told her what animals were scary and what ones weren't. Im pretty sure, my wife told her spiders were scary, but the other animals. How did she come to that conclusion? I mean, we go to the zoo all the time, we have a membership to the Dallas Zoo, we see all these animals. Why would she be scared of them. Half of the characters on tv are cartoon versions of real life scary animals. So where did these opinions come from? So that made me come to the conclusion that her, and probably most other kids too, ave an inherent or innate instinct on what animals are dangerous and which ones aren't. They just know.
So what did that have to do with kids eating vegetables? I'll get to my point, kids will choose healthy foods if they are given them from an early age. They will like them too. If you don't eat broccoli and your child never sees it on your plate, good chance they won't be asking for it. But given the option, kids will choose healthy food, they inherently know what is good for them. If you put a hamburger and an apple in front of a 2 year old who hasn't been raised on McDonalds, they will choose the apple. It is their natural instinct. But when we raise them on junk, foods that have additives that literally change brain chemistry and make them addicted and crave more. Foods that are loaded with sugar that has been proven to be more addictive than heroin. Than we wonder why they wont eat their spinach? You are laying the foundation of a healthy or unhealthy lifestyle at a very young age. They will most likely keep these habits for the rest of their lives. If they grew up getting happy meals, they will be at the same place ordering a super sized value meal some day.
I also see this from "healthy" parents too. Parents that eat extremely healthy, workout and exercise. And wouldn't dare eat the crap they give their kids. Go through drive thrus just for their kids. How does that make sense? That's what they like? I hear that all the time. There are things my kid likes better too. For example, she loves artichokes, and doesn't care for eggplant. But I'll pick my battles. :)
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