At my house, dinner often looks like grass-fed rib eye, grilled to medium rare with salt and pepper, and broccoli roasted with avocado oil and cooked ‘til crispy. It’s satisfying, satiating, and metabolically in line with the way I like to eat.
Dinner probably looks fairly similar at your place too. Only while grilling up your perfect cut of steak, you might also be firing up a big pot of mac ‘n cheese or popping some dino nuggets and waffle fries into the oven for the picky eaters in your household. Especially if your kids are used to conventional, Standard American Diet type fare.
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Aren’t Kids Supposed to Eat Kid Food?
This is a question I get a lot from my health coaching clients. And my answer typically sounds something like, “only if you want them to become part of the growing epidemic of folks struggling with obesity and type 2 diabeteshttps://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/public-health-nutrition/article/involvement-in-home-meal-preparation-is-associated-with-food-preference-and-selfefficacy-among-canadian-children/C4347E7475C945893A82B19E5F93CC90‘>3 showed that children who were involved with food prep were more likely to make healthy choices at mealtime.
In the study, one-third of the kids surveyed said they helped their mom and dad up to 3 times per week, while one-quarter of them helped about once a month, and 12.4% didn’t help at all.
While the frequency of involvement differed (3 times per week vs once a month), the result was the same. Kids who helped their parents in the kitchen were more interested in eating healthy foods like vegetables than their non-helping peers.The data also showed that kids who participated in meal prep were more confident about the importance of making healthier food choices for themselves.
Does that mean that once you start cooking together they’re going to be begging for an extra serving of kale salad before bed? No. But they might start asking for full fat yogurt instead of ice cream. Or enjoying roasted chicken instead of the processed nugget variety.
My How-to Guide for Getting Picky Eaters to Eat
So, how do you do it? Check out these 9 strategies for turning a picky eater’s habits around. These are the same tips I use with my health coaching clients to make mealtime less stressful. Give them a try — I’m confident they’ll work for you too.
1. Don’t force it
No one likes to be pressured into trying new things, especially if they’re someone who already has a preconceived aversion to it. It might be tempting to force-feed your family, after all you are the parent, but there’s a good chance it will backfire. Studies show that kids who have a history of being pressured to eat continued to dislike those foods long into adulthood.https://eetonderzoek.nl/wp-content/uploads/publikaties/havermans_en_jansen_appetite2007.pdf‘>5 Dips and sauces are a great way to combine an unfamiliar food with something kids know and love.
5. Walk the talk
I’m assuming that you’re well-versed in the benefits of the Primal lifestyle, but if you’re doing more talking than walking, your kids could be getting mixed messages. Notice the foods you keep in the house and what your meals look like. Be a positive role model whenever and wherever you can.
6. Avoid being too strict
It’s easy to go overboard in the all-non-Primal-foods-are-evil department, so you’ve decided every processed food is off-limits, you might want to back off a little. Make simple swaps like fresh fruit instead of juice or an occasional treat made with better-for-you ingredients.
7. Try new things
There’s a correlation between the number of new foods you feed your family and your picky eater’s willingness to eat them, so keep at it. Repetition and continuing to reintroduce foods (without force or frustration) has been linked to an increased liking of those foods., orthorexia, Paleo, processed meats, Snacks
Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.
This week food inspections stall in government shutdown, snack drawers teach kids moderation, and the optimal diet for humans.
Next week’s Mindful Meal Challenge will start again on Monday. Sign up now to join us!
Too busy to read them all? Try this awesome free speed reading app to read at 300+ wpm. So neat!
Links of the week
- Don’t think of it as a New Year’s resolution. Think of it as a new skill. – Excellent advice from Jae Berman. (Washington Post)
- A massive amount of American food safety inspections aren’t happening due to the government shutdown, and it could mean more food-poisoning outbreaks – I guess it’s a good idea to make sure you’re mostly eating cooked food these days. Such a bummer. (Business Insider)
- Court Strikes Down Iowa’s ‘Ag-Gag’ Law That Blocked Undercover Investigations – Huge. Great to see this. (NPR)
- Snack drawers and other ways to teach kids to eat in moderation – I like this idea. Anyone try anything like this with their kiddos? (Washington Post)
- Gardening Could Be The Hobby That Helps You Live to 100 – One of the most common activities for centenarians that live in Blue Zones. We’re looking forward to planting season here in the Pacific Northwest. (BBC)
- Is There an Optimal Diet for Humans? – What would you guess? (NY Times)
- 12 Reasons To Ditch The Diet Mentality – Wow. It’s almost like I wrote this. The world has changed a lot since I first started ST. That makes me happy. (Huffpo)
- Caring About The Quality of Your Food Is Not A Disorder (Orthorexia’s Many False Media Positives) – 100%. It’s nearly impossible to eat healthy in Western culture these days and not seem a little odd compared to everyone else. That doesn’t mean it needs to be detrimentally obsessive. As Yoni says, caring is not a disorder. (Weighty Matters)
- Don’t want antibiotics sprayed on your citrus? Sorry – it’s about to expand, big-time – This is very dangerous. Antibiotic resistance is pretty terrifying and I’d hate to see this happen. (Florida Phoenix)
- A Michelin-starred chef says restaurants should stop serving avocados because they’re the blood diamonds of Mexico’ – I’d actually never heard this before and it’s worth considering. (Insider)
- Is Eating Deli Meats Really That Bad for You? – It drives me nuts that I can only find “no nitrates” (hint: that’s BS) and “uncured” (also BS) bacon at Whole Foods these days. That’s all labeling slight-of-hand. When I do consume processed meats I get the most high-quality meat that has been processed in the most traditional ways possible and understand that it’s not the healthiest thing in the world to be eating, so make it a special treat. (NY Times)
- Ribollita – The Tuscan Stew you Should be Eating Regularly – I love winter stews. Nom nom nom. (101 Cookbooks)
What inspired you this week?
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If you’ve got a kiddo who’s gluten-free or celiac snack-time can be, well, a bit of a minefield. via GIPHY Because you want your kiddo to feel included and normal — but when they can’t eat the animal crackers being passed around playgroup … via GIPHY Not to mention that the same ol’ gluten-free snacks day in and day out can get pretty boring. via GIPHY So, to help you freshen up what’s in that spill-proof snack-cup, here are a whopping 75 gluten-free snacks for kids. (And, as always, double-check labels to make sure there’s no gluten in any of…
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If you’ve been following us on Instagram (@FitBottomedMama), you may seen a few posts or Insta stories about my daughter’s experience (and mine as well) at Goldfish Swim School. (Spoiler: They let her try a few months of swim lessons on the house, and it’s been so awesome that we’ve kept our partnership going!) And, today, in addition to those behind-the-scenes glimpses, we’re sharing five awesome gift ideas for kids that aren’t toys — including Goldfish Swim School lessons, of course. All of them are great kids gift ideas to bookmark for the holidays, birthdays, or any special occasion! Gift Ideas…
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Remember — pre-kids — when bathtime used to be like more like this? via GIPHY And, now, well, they’re a little more like this: via GIPHY Or this: via GIPHY Us, too. So, to make them a little more like this: via GIPHY We give you these tips on how to make bathtime a little more fun for everyone. 1. Read books together. Everyone loves a reading a good book — and kids are no different. There are a number of water-friendly books on the market for different age ranges, but lately we’ve really enjoyed Bath Time! by Sandra Boynton…
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