It seems like every day I am seeing more and more new information about the negative effects various processed foods are having on our health and the health of our children. It is great that people are becoming more educated about what they are eating and advocating for healthier options, however anyone who has ever cooked a meal for a little one knows that change is not always perceived in the most positive light! You may be ready to throw out the junk and switch to a nourishing diet of healthy fats, meats and veggies but your little ones may not be so excited at first. That is ok, don’t give up, it is a process! Here are a few tips for transitioning children to a more nourishing diet:
Change One Thing at a Time: Just like adults can get overwhelmed with too much work or too many changes at one time, changing your child’s entire diet in one day is probably going to be a recipe for a total meltdown. Try changing one thing at a time working from something small, like a snack, to the larger meals. Instead of goldfish for example, try some homemade fruit gummy snacks packed with grass fed gelatin!
Run Out: Another way to change things gradually is to simply run out of things and stop buying them again. Chances are your kids are not the ones doing the grocery shopping, but many of them will understand what it means to be out of something… it means you are not withholding anything from them it is just simply not available. Using this trick also allows things to change more gradually rather than going out and buying all new food at one time.
Remember that children don’t have as many preconceived ideas as adults: Don’t think your child will be on board with switching from soda to kombucha? You may be surprised! Many of our likes and dislikes as adults have more to do with what we think is weird and strange and less about what our taste buds are actually tasting. Also, our taste buds have developed over our many years and may be conditioned to only like super sweet things over slightly sweet things because that is what we have been consuming for years and years. I have never offered chicken broth to a child who didn’t love it, yet my husband can barely get it down when he is sick because he thinks the idea of bone broth is gross.
Eat What Your Kids Eat: Do not play short order cook and don’t try to switch your children over to a nourishing food diet and expect to sneak a bowl of cereal after they go to bed. They will find the cereal and playing short order cook will get old fast. Make healthy changes as a family. In fact, if your kids see you enjoying a new nourishing food that may make them more inclined to enjoy it as well.
Change is never easy especially when it involves getting a family of people on board, it is a process and every family is different. Make changes at a pace that suits your needs but don’t give up just because it is hard at first. Allowing children to discover what it means to have a positive and nourishing relationship with food will be a gift that will last them a lifetime.
So, are you ready to make some changes in your family’s diet? Here are a few of my favorite kid-approved nourishing recipes to get you started:
Samantha is our newest Sweet Talk contributor. She writes about clean living, urban homesteading and saving money. You can read more at her blog, Sweet Potatoes and Social Change.
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