My eldest, Benjamin, is a proud, picky eater who traces his pickiness lineage right to his maternal grandpa. The doctor isn't worried, but that doesn't stop us from trying to instill healthy eating habits. It's the right thing to do, but it's led to some nasty food fights - which might just be over.
My mother always said she wasn't a short-order cook and I've adopted this philosophy. Benjamin learned how to cook SmartDogs in order to feed himself - which was fine until I read Better Safe than Soy about the impact of how much soy is in the American diet (think cows and chicken feed). With our family cancer tendencies, I knew I had to reduce the daily consumption of SmartDogs.
Thus began the family food fight - the battle of wills. I don't want to fight with my son every night. Long term, I cannot win this fight because he has to make healthy food choices himself. And frankly, I was stumped until yesterday.
After taking Taylor to the track yesterday, I wasn't sure if running a mile is a good thing for a 5 year old to do - so I looked at CrossFit Kids for the kids WOD. Suffice to say - a lot less than one mile.
CrossFit kids has a section called "sane nutrition for kids in 150 words". I read it out loud to Taylor. Benjamin heard it. And this morning, Benjamin went running with me (only let him do 800M). After running, he told me that he needs to start eating healthier if he wants to run faster and further. The 150 words made sense to him!
Here is Sane nutrition for kids in 150 words" from CrossFit Kids (emphasis mine) -
Our goal with kids isn't to get them on the zone, but to get them to think and make good choices about what they eat. Our goal is to teach them very basic concepts, sugar is bad, protein is good and you need to eat some in every meal. Nuts and seeds are good fats. Eat them, don't avoid them. Pasta, white bread, and white rice are not that good for you, stuff that's red, yellow, green and found in the fruit and vegetable aisle is good for you. Eat a lot of it.
Look at your plate, make a fist, eat that much meat every meal; turn your hand over and fill it with nuts and seeds, eat that much good fat, fill the rest of your plate with stuff you found in the fruit and vegetable aisle. Fill your plate this way at every meal, don't eat more.
Try reading it out loud with your kids sometime you aren't fighting about food. Let me know if it works for you. I'll let you know if Benjamin follows through.