Life is so manic as it is without having to add in the myriad concerns when it comes to the wellbeing of our kids. From day one we are bombarded with things to look out for with our children. How fast are they growing? Are they in this quintile or that quintile? How do they perform in reading, writing and generally living compared to other kids? It can be so stressful trying to manage all of this so we thought we’d hone in on one topic at a time and slowly chew our way through some good nutritious advice when it comes down to what we should serve up to our little ones.
Mandy Sacher has been passionate about healthy food and kids for as long as she can remember. She’s the founder of Wholesome child and has so many insights into how to handle this sometimes tricky side of parenting.
- Being a positive role model
Mandy speaks into the holistic side of what it is to be a positive role model. To be leading the charge when it comes to being active and eating a balanced diet, for sure but also when it comes to talking and discussing body image. In her house she has banned the ‘f’ word, that is, the word ‘fat’.
Avoiding starting discussions on eating and body in the negative is a helpful way to create a safe and open circumstance in your family’s and child’s development. Attempt to avoid speaking negatively about your own weight and other peoples as this tone of conversation can easily transmit into your child’s view of their own weight and body.
Fad diets and getting the ‘perfect body’ should be avoided. How then can we approach the topic of eating and body?
Mandy says to coin the discussion on food and body in terms of nourishment and play. ‘Eating this broccoli will help your legs to run up and down the backyard’ or ‘this bowl of quinoa will help give your body the nutrients that it needs to build the best strong bones inside you’.
2. Assess Trigger Points And Replace With Healthy Snacks
Is your child eating when they are bored? Has there been a pattern developing, do they eat after a fight with their friends or siblings? Do you they (and you) regularly go to the cupboard and chomp on those store bought cookies?
Mandy says once you’ve identified triggers, removing them (those store bought cookies) and replacing them and other snack options available with healthy alternative is a great way to start to build up healthy habits.
a) Cut up pieces of carrot, celery, capsicum and cucumber, have them ready in a bowl in the fridge for easy access and nom-nomming happiness
b) Buy or make your own hummus and other healthy dips to add a little flavour to the snacking process
c) Include your kids in the process. Ask them to brainstorm fun healthy snacks, this way they are part of the process and can take ownership of the idea.
d) Find your favourite healthy sweet recipes and alternate through them week by week. From beetroot balls to chocolate almond scones, there are so many out there.
But most of all, give yourself some time and patience. This is a huge element of parenting that will take time and trial to find a good system that works for your family.