Don’t Over-Hype The “Healthy” Stuff
Studies show that kids actually eat more vegetables when they are not pressured. Pressure includes praising, expressing disappointment or saying the child will be stronger, bigger, healthier by eating X food.
More than half of parents use pressuring feeding strategies to get their kids to eat. Many fear giving this practice up because it seems to work in the short term. However, in the long term it can erode the ability to eat intuitively, exacerbate feeding problems, make mealtime negative for both parents and child(ren), and create risk factors for a future eating disorder.
In addition, kids tend to be black and white thinkers, so if we say, “eat your carrots because they are good for your eyes,” they might think, “if I don’t eat carrots I will lose my sight” and create undo anxiety..
Bottom line, kids aren’t thinking about health, nor should they be. Kids will naturally vary their intake when presented with a variety of foods - some days they may eat a lot, some days a little; some days mostly the carbohydrate-rich foods, some days the protein-rich foods. It all balances out in the end when we let go and just let them eat without input or pressure.