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VLOG | 3 tips to raising a healthier eater

Question:

I am about to have my second child and I'm trying to avoid them being a picky eater like my first child. Any advice?

*In this video, I'm giving you three tips to be mindful of in order to make the process of developing healthy habits among your child a bit smoother. I also wrote some briefing in text because I'm better at writing my thoughts down versus, awkwardly, speaking into a camera 😅.

At the end of this post, you'll see three questions I encourage you to ask yourself. It'll make implementing these tips a bit easier.

1 | Have them eat what you eat - If it's healthy and meant to nourish our bodies then there should be no age limit. I really feel like restaurants need to get rid of kids' menus.

There's this division among what they're supposed to eat along with the limited selection and what, us, as adults should eat. Try scrapping this method of separate meals and have them explore different tastes and textures earlier on.

2 | Don't not cook multiple meals - Keep it simple with one or two choices that are easy to adjust around what you're already cooking. Remember it's all about quality over quantity.

It's better to have your child eat a small amount of something full of nutrients rather than a large amount of something not as healthy.

3 | Lead by example -Am I showing them how to eat healthy? What example am I setting? Actions speak louder than words. You really have to ask yourself:

Get them involved, give them a place and have them help you in the kitchen. The more you educate them on the foods you're cooking and how they benefit their bodies, the more inclined they'll be to eat and enjoy the food. When your kids feel included, they feel more confident and independent.

Above all, be patient and pay attention to cues. They're little humans with little stomachs - like us, they may not be feeling a certain food that day or what you may be serving isn't making them feel too great like dairy, gluten or cruciferous vegetables.

You're doing a great job!

Questions to ask yourself:

What is my mood when I'm preparing a meal - am I rushed, overwhelmed, stressed?

Our energy is every bit a part of the cooking process as the ingredients. Our children our very in tune with our emotions. If you're not satisfied or something is bothering you, it can offset their appetite as well. So make sure to take a deep breath and be present. If cooking is just not something you're up for, try to figure out what you can do to make the process more enjoyable.

Am I really practicing what I preach? Am I open to trying new things as well?

Your child can take on your personality traits and preferences early on - like being open to trying new food. They're palate is more likely to expand if they're exposed more often than not.

Am I watching my language and actions around food?

If you're saying something is "nasty" or going behind their back and eating what you've labeled as forbidden - like cookies and chips, they'll catch on to the patterns. They'll begin to refuse foods and eventually call you out and/or begin to be intrigued and wanting to explore more of the "bad" foods.

Make sure to enjoy a cookie with them, however, make it known that eating more nutritious foods come first and that no foods are "bad", they're just foods that are better for our bodies.

With Love,

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Disclaimer

*Please take into consideration that these tips are hitting on the surface levels when it comes to a variety of children’s dietary requirements. I’m not talking about or encouraging the use of supplementation, strong medicinal herbs or ignoring dietary needs. I am not a doctor or medical provider. Any opinions I offer in this video should not be interpreted as definite or medical advice.

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© 2020 Candid Health, LLC

Cassie Brown

Clinical Nutritionist

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