Are You Making These Food Mistakes Too?
Fox News has identified 14 mistakes many parents are making when it comes to feeding kids. Are you making these mistakes too?
Hey moms of toddlers and preschoolers, as if you don’t already have enough to worry about–Should we let her just wear Pull-Ups for the nap? Will time outs teach him to behave or permanently scar him?–there are now 14 food mistakes moms make, courtesy of Fox News. It’s a mean-spirited headline but the guts of the piece are actually pretty solid. Especially these.
“Eating differently than your kids do”
This is a big one for me and my crew. I head up a website called Foodlets.com where we post our kid-friendly culinary hits, misses, and recipe ideas for other families in the trenches. Based on readers’ comments and even my own experience, I’ve often thought, “Man, I’d be so healthy if I ate what these guys are having!” Wheat-germ laden muffins, plain yogurt drizzled with nothing but honey and chia seeds, fresh fruit galore…
It’s true. Sometimes it’s easier to go the route of eat-as-I-say, not-as-I-do. But when you make one meal for the whole family, whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, you’ve got an ace in your hand: your kids want to be like YOU. They want to emulate everything you do, so if you’re eating a fresh, delicious oven roasted broccoli with sea salt, the chances of them digging in just went up. (And if it doesn’t happen at tonight’s dinner, keep at it. That broccoli will eventually make its way into your kid!)
“Being a short order cook”
Another one that hit home. I get tons of comments on Foodlets from exhausted moms who feel trapped into cooking two or three versions of every meal, one for each person who doesn’t feel like eating the perfectly nice roast chicken she already made. But I get it. When we only had one daughter, then a toddler, I used to give her a yogurt-out for dinner. If she didn’t like what we were having–or didn’t like the look of what we were having–I’d let her eat yogurt instead. Fast forward a couple of years and now we have three small kids, all under age five. I can’t even imagine giving everyone options for every meal. That’s a one-way ticket to Crazytown with a whisk in one hand and a glass of wine in the other.
Instead, I try to combine meals that include something for everyone. Our toddler likes peas, our preschooler likes pork, so I make pork quesadillas with steamed peas on the side. Everyone is represented, everyone is (reasonably) happy.
“Drinking sugar-sweetened drinks”
Of all the mistakes mentioned in the article though, this one is the easiest to correct. Our kids drink water and milk, period. Sometimes they get their doughy little hands on some juice, and boy do they suck it down! That’s fine. It’s certainly not forbidden (another mistake). In general, I just never buy juice, soda or sports drinks. I don’t need the calories myself (who does?) and it’s the last thing I want to get them hooked on this early in the game.
Since becoming a parent, I’ve found a whole new world of crazy cover lines that alternatively suck me in and make me feel guilty, sometimes at the same time. Food is a big deal and feeding kids can be daunting, but a few “mistakes” like these are easy to fix. Now, if someone has the answers to the whole Pull-Ups and time out questions, THAT’S something I am really worried bout.
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