So, you are ready to make some changes in your family's diet. You've heard and read enough to know that eating Real Food is important to your family's health and happiness. You know what your kids eat when they are young not only affects their health now, but also in the future. You are feeling good about your decision. Your intuition is supporting you. The science is behind you.
Unfortunately, your kids are not on the same page. They are complaining about the fresh fruit. They practically 'throw-up' seeing anything green on their plates, and they're secretly calling Grandma to tell her about this unfair abuse. Don't despair. It's temporary.
It might be intense, but it's almost always temporary. Stick to your goal of creating a healthier and happier family, and stay connected with other moms who are doing the same thing. The following ideas help hundreds of moms get through the bumps of changing their children's diets. The more you do to educate and involve them, no matter what their ages, the greater the chances your journey will be a little smoother. Educate your children, without making a really big deal about the changes.
Explain how the body works and needs good nutrients like a car needs good gas. A car would break down if you put something besides fuel in the tank. The same with our bodies when we put too many anti-nutrients in. Borrow some books from the library that have great charts, illustrations and pictures about the body's amazing parts. Talk with your children about how they can keep their body working the way it is supposed to if they give it the right fuel.
Have them help pack lunches and snacks, and help cook. It takes longer, but if you have the time, it's really worth it. Talk about the colors and textures of the food. The phytonutrients, found in those deep bright colors, are nutrients that will help strengthen your child's immune system.
You can download our free color chart to help you with this. Consider setting up a two-bite rule and the food has to make it down to the tummy. Explain that their taste buds may need to adapt to the new flavors.
It takes many, many times of eating the same food for some children to accept the taste. Read Eat Healthy, Feel Great, by Dr. William Sears. Talk about the differences between the nourishing food at home and the party food that is available at parties. Discuss how eating 'party' foods all the time will make their bodies break down eventually. Relate their performance at school and in sports and hobbies to the foods they eat.
They will think better and focus longer when their brains are nourished. They will run faster and jump higher when their muscles get the food they need. Be on the lookout for older role models to point out to your kids - ones that do take care of themselves physically. Talk with your pre-teen and teenager about how food affects his or her appearance and mood.
Make a plan to go on a sugar-fast together for two weeks and see what changes you each experience. Talk about it each day to see if they are experiencing detox symptoms and cravings so you can help them understand their bodies are trying to get healthier and the cravings are because they are hooked on sugar. Once it is cleared, they will begin to feel better.
Monitor how much candy, pop, cookies, muffins and other non-nutrient foods your children are being offered at school, church, friends' homes, etc. It is your right and responsibility to say something if you prefer your child not to have those foods. If your children are resistant, try to breathe and do your best. The moment we give in to demands for something else to eat or for sugar, they know we are not so serious about making changes.
Be consistent, just like with all other parenting decisions, and your kids will take you seriously and know that you truly value their health and happiness.
Healthy Kids, Happy Moms http://www.nourishyourkids.com