I Don't want my Child to Eat that

I Don't want my Child to Eat that

Do you struggle with how and what other people feed your child? It is normal for parents to worry about what their child eats. We all want our kids to grow up to feel good about food and their body. We also know being too strict on foods high in sugar and fat is not helpful. It can lead to these foods being more sort after by children. So how do we get the balance right?

Try to understand where they might be coming from

  • For some people, giving food is a way of showing love or affection particularly if it is a grandparent. In their childhood, sweets and savory snacks may have been a rare treat. They may want to give your children all the foods they rarely experienced as a child.
  • They may think they are actually offering healthy foods. The marketing on some foods can make them seem healthier than they really are.

Think big picture

Children can generally understand “different house, different rules.” If you worry about what they are fed at someone else’s home, remember they are only likely to be there for a short time. The food and how it is offered is not likely to make a big difference in the long run.

We cannot control our child’s world. However, we can use ‘real-world situations’ to help teach our children to listen to their appetite, understand how different foods make us feel and to speak with respect about bodies.

Be a positive role model for your children

We know what happens your own home has the most impact on your child’s overall eating and feeding habits. What they see and learn from you at home will help them work their way through the many food choices that they come across in life. Offer a wide range of foods at home. Show them that you enjoy eating all types of food. Be a positive role model for your child around food. You can do this by talking about all food in a neutral way, try not to use words like good or bad to describe foods. Talk about how food tastes or looks, about food variety and where different food comes from. Talk about how there are foods we eat and enjoy everyday to nourish our bodies and to help them grow. Talk about foods we eat and enjoy sometimes often at special times or as a family. Read more about how to be a positive role model around food and eating

Keep it practical

People like grandparents and family friends may be open to changing what they offer your children. Give them easy things they can do and remember that making changes can be hard. Be patient.

Let them know:

  • a hug
  • reading a story
  • making time to do something special together like a game or new skill

is the best way to show your child that they care rather than sweet or savory treat or reward.

For more information How to feed your child