Have you ever thought about what kind of mum you are when it comes to feeding you kids?
As parents, we all have different approaches and techniques. What formed your habits and methods for feeding your kids?
What impact will the way your child eats now have on their future?
Chances are you will relate some of the following types of feeder. If you relate strongly to any one type then this should set off an alarm bell.
If any of these styles of feeding become characteristic for you then you may be undermining your bigger goal of getting your kids to enjoy eating healthy food.
– The “They will grow out of it” mum. These mums see behaviour as “just a phase”. They plan to ride out the storm and let nature take it’s course. No need to act, everything will be fine eventually. I’ve got bad news. When it comes to food, these days that just isn’t true. Now, more than ever before we are bombarded by poor food options and advertising. If kids don’t develop good habits at an early age, they are going to be in for a tough ride. Don’t believe me? Then fingers crossed the obesity crisis is just a phase.
– The “Don’t let them be hungry” mum. These mums wont let their kids ever be hungry (it is actually important to let our kids experience both ends of the spectrum from full to hungry). Meal times tend to comprise of what you know your child will eat and if they decide not to eat something then an alternative is offered. These mums also tend to offer lots of snacks to their kids between meals.
– The Diplomat – Anything for quiet life! These mums also let their kids dictate what they eat. Similar to the “don’t let them be hungry” mum but instead of avoiding hunger, they are avoiding arguments. This can range from avoiding a tantrum to parents just wanting an easy night because they need a break (we all have nights like that!).
– The Rewarder – Success is rewarded with food. Stayed in bed all night? Have a biscuit. Played nicely? Have a biscuit. Did well in a spelling test? Have a biscuit. Fetched the stick like a good boy? Have a biscuit! Your child is not a dog, don’t reward them with food. Find other things that they value; an extra bed time story, playing a game with mum and dad, stay up late, extra tv, etc.
– The Emotional Feeder – Emotional feeding can take two forms in a family, both have heavy links between their emotions and food. Type one is feeding for pleasure; giving your child food that they like, e.g. biscuits, to make them happy. Type two is feeding to stop something unpleasant; giving your child a biscuit if they are upset.
– The Food Police – Woop woop, dis is the sound of da (food) Police! These mums are the hard core one. Their kids aren’t allowed sugar or additives and have to eat something different at parties. Mums can be very restrictive and controlling which can have a negative impact on kids if this is extreme. Kids end up missing out on important food experiences and potentially develop food anxieties or inability to self-regulate.
Understanding the way that you feed your kids is vital to keeping your efforts to get your kids to enjoy healthy food on track.
Identifying issues that you might have allows you to be aware of them and control their frequency and, ultimately, keep your whole family on track.
Do you ever find yourself getting in a meal rut with your family? Same of “safe” meals week in week out? Check out my free 7 Day Healthy Meal Plan With Food Your Kids Will Actually Eat! It even includes desserts and wine*!
(*wine for the adults only… not the kids)