How Can I Get My Picky Kids to Eat Healthier?
For kids who are picky, there is a lot of advice in both Paleo and otherwise about getting them to eat healthy, but it mostly boils down to a few things:
- Kids might pitch a fit for a while, but they’ll end up eating what you feed them. it takes less than 2 months for our tastes to change, so it’s always possible to start liking foods they didn’t like before. It takes about 10 times being exposed to a food to start to like it (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12781165/)
- If kids help prepare the food, they’re much more likely to like it and want to eat it. So get them involved in making food as much as possible.
- Over the long-term, it really helps to have honest discussions with kids after they’ve eaten something that made them feel bad and just talk to them about how it made them feel. That way, they’ll quickly start making the connection. Even when they’re 3 or 4 years old, they pretty quickly understand when some food makes them tired or have a tummy ache.
It can be really hard as a parent to try to force your kids to eat well, especially if they’re a little bit older and have been eating less-than-ideal food for quite a while. The change is stressful on you, and it appears painful to them.
However, in the long-run, it’s definitely worth it. Your kids will be healthier, and they’ll also be better behaved, since junk food often leads to behavioral issues. It might be a long time, but they’ll eventually thank you for your effort.
And to get kids to eat more veggies, check out this article: http://paleomagazine.com/how-do-i-get-my-kids-to-eat-veggies