I am really excited about this year. I feel like I’ve got my goals lined up, my head on straight, and I am ready to roll.
Last year, my goals were to simplify, slow down the pace, and turn my focus on family, friends and home. Oh, and a little bit of self-improvement (aka get off my rear end and exercise with regularity).
But enough about me…
I am really excited for you, too. Why? I’ve got some goodies in store for you.
Many of us have personal goals or resolutions in mind for the New Year, and I know that some of these target areas for improvement revolve around your family and kids.
Like getting chores on board, improving the bedtime routine, or a better system for organizing all the sports and activities.
I know, I know—I’ve been there, too!
What if Your Child Isn’t Eating Well?
I often hear from parents that they aren’t happy with the way their child is eating.
They want to improve the food routine at home.
I hear people say, “I’ve got to learn how to cook this year!” (I actually heard the two female co-hosts say that last night on Extra!)
Or I hear parents say, “Our family needs to eat healthier…”
Which usually means my kids are getting off track with their eating and I need to reign it in.
That thought often leads to another…and another…and it goes something like this:
If my child doesn’t make healthy food choices, he may end up liking those unhealthy foods more.
If he likes unhealthy food, he will eat more unhealthy food.
If he eats a lot of unhealthy food, he will gain unhealthy amounts of weight.
Then the inevitable happens.
When Fear of an Unhealthy Child Takes Over
The fear of all these negative outcomes nags and nags at your conscience. It rises.
This fear [and really, all of these thoughts] leads you down a rabbit hole of negativity, panic and some unproductive feeding practices.
That may look something like this:
You get rid of all sweets and junk food in your home.
You set strict limits on desserts, sweets, and tightly control all unhealthy food.
You become a zealot for healthy food, talking non-stop about the benefits.
Because you want your kid to be healthy…gosh darn it!
The irony of this is that many of these intentionally good efforts on your part backfire…eventually.
How do you raise a child who eats healthy food and has a healthy weight?
I’m not gonna lie.
I don’t think it’s easy.
But I don’t think it’s impossible.
Why isn’t it easy?
Because you have to know about food, how to balance it with the inevitable (and delightful) indulgences that life brings, while keeping track of that balance, day after day.
Yes, you have to know what a healthy diet for your growing child looks like, including how many fruits and veggies your child should be eating, how much of the food groups your child should be getting so that his nutrient needs are met, where and how to draw the line on sweets and treats (and at what age, because it varies), and more.
The food know-how is essential.
But it doesn’t end with food, as you may think. There is SO much more.
For one, your feeding strategy matters. Did you know that the day-to-day way you feed your child has just as much impact on his eating as the food he eats? There are some pretty common mistakes parents make with their feeding approach, from short-order cooking to pressuring or rewarding their child to eat. You want to make sure you’re not making these mistakes with feeding, as they can derail your child’s healthful eating.
You need a consistent feeding strategy for your family. And, if you get off track (which you will…) you have to know how to get back on track.
You also have to keep a positive dialogue about food going, so that your child doesn’t get the wrong impression about it—that it’s bad, unhealthy, or forbidden. (That’s a set up for an unhealthy relationship with food…and we all know that can lead to more problems with food and eating).
There’s a lot more to raising a healthy child with a healthy weight–even sleep, physical activity and teaching about nutrition all play a role.
You see, it’s not easy.
There’s a lot to know.
A lot to learn.
But I’ve got the help you need–or at least a place where you can get yourself started.
For now, I’ve created The Ultimate Checklist for you.
Get a sense of what it takes to raise a healthy child with a healthy weight. Just click on the picture below and you’ll be on your way!