30 Days of Green Smoothies: Day 13

Have I mentioned how my heart swells when my son asks for a smoothie – or anything healthy really :).

Fostering good eating habits in our kids is an important part of parenting, yet so many of us feel like we are struggling to do it right. After too many dinnertime struggles, I knew I had to try something different.  Through many tried and failed methods, I think I have found three ways to make things a bit easier:

1) Limit the choices and stand firm.

I always swore I wouldn’t be the mom cooking a separate meal for my child.  “He’ll just eat whatever we are eating!”  As with all my bold pre-parent statements, I am made to eat my words.  Some days there are foods that aren’t right for him (spicy italian sausage night) and some days that I just don’t want to fight.  So there I am, making a PB&J sandwich with love just for him.

Most meals though are take it or leave it though.  I’ve also gotten out of the habit of telling him what we are having in advance because, well, it doesn’t matter what he thinks, that is what we are having.  If I do offer choices, it is A or B.  A good example is he can choose A) milk or B) water to drink.

2) Model the Desired Behavior

It doesn’t matter what words I choose, somedays he just doesn’t hear me.  Or somedays I get caught in an endless discussion about why things are the way they are.  So I have found that some of the best teaching I do is not discussed.  Ever notice that the swear word you let slip out ONE time is permanently embedded in your child’s vocabulary?

3) Don’t overhype the junk

Don’t give power to the things you don’t want around.  Pizza is not a reason to celebrate.  Nor is it something to lose sleep over.  It is simply pizza.  Birthday parties are likely to have cake and sugary snacks, the other kids are always going to drink soda and eat candy.  Accept that you can not control everything, even when they are newborns, toddlers or teens…..there are always going to be grandparents who will spoil them with piles of pancakes, M&M jars, and ice cream.  The less reaction you give to the junk, the less power it will have.  Instead, rave about your smoothie or how good your carrot sticks are today.

What good tips do you have for helping your kids look at food in a healthy way?

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