Mothers all around the World strive very hard to nurture their little ones with proper nourishment. They cherish the desire that their children should get the benefits offered by a variety of foods but often they fail. I’m one of those moms who miserably fail to fulfill this deep and sincere desire to feed my little daughter everything that is good for her. My little princess has a mind of her own and is a very fussy eater. I struggle very hard to accomplish the task of making her eat our basic food which includes rice, fish, vegetables, fruits, milk and bread. Though, she likes chocolates and cakes like most other children.
While looking for innovative breakfast ideas I stumbled upon a book and its many reviews over the Internet. This excellent book has been written by a mother of two daughters and she shares 10 golden rules of making children eat their food.
The name of the author is Karen Le Billon.
The name of the book is:
“French Kids Eat Everything: How our family moved to France, cured picky eating, banned snacking, and discovered 10 simple rules for raising happy, healthy eaters”.
Here goes the 10 golden rules:
- Parents are in charge of food education. I remember, as I child, we got the lessons of appreciating food. We need to teach children the same rule of appreciating and loving food. Food education includes appreciation of food, understanding of what is good and not so good for growth and development. When they learn to appreciate and respect food, they will understand its real value and this big lesson will always help them when they grow up.
- Parents should avoid emotional eating and stop giving rewards and bribes. Parents often, indulge in the process of bribing or rewarding children for doing things correctly. But, this should be avoided in terms of Food, is what the author instructs.
- Children eat what adults eat, so parents need to schedule menu and food timings. It is very important to introduce variety of foods to children. Children like to imitate adults. When they observe adults eat something, they would also learn to eat in the same manner.
- Family eats together and avoids distractions. We often get carried away with what the Television offers. Sometimes, it becomes easy to feed children when they are engrossed in their favourite cartoon show or a dance sequence they love to watch. But, this actually may be not be a very healthy habit in the long run.
- Vegetables offer the colors of a rainbow. Include vegetables of every colour in the menu and avoid repeating the dishes for more than once per week, is what the author suggests.
- Mothers need to give this instruction very clearly that even if the child doesn’t LIKE IT, he/she has to TASTE IT. The author also adds that the French people tell their children that ‘they haven’t tried it enough number of times to start liking It’, when a child says that he/she didn’t like something after tasting it. So, we learn that we shouldn’t give up very easily and conclude that ‘he/she doesn’t like a particular food’. We need to try continuously and encourage them to eat that particular ‘dislike’ dish more often, so that someday, we will just start loving it.
- Limit the intake of Snacks. The author says that it is OK, if the child feels hungry and this means that the child will have dinner properly. She recommends snacks time to be just once or twice in a day. Practically, it can be very difficult to implement for most of the urban parents.
- Eat slowly as SLOW FOOD is HAPPY FOOD. This is absolutely correct. When we eat slowly, we eat less than the required [good for adults but not for children, I believe]. Food gets digested easily when eaten slowly. Children should be taught to chew food thoroughly before swallowing.
- Real homemade food is healthy food. In this fast faced modern life, fast food and ready –to-eat- food made life easier for busy people but if we think deeply, we realize how unhealthy, this practice is.
- Eating has to be joyful and not stressful. Finally, the author suggests that eating should be an enjoyable process and not just a strict routine.