raise a healthy eater without the tears, stress, frustration!
Raising kids is really hard.
And getting them to eat well is one of the most challenging parts.
They won't stay in their seat, they refuse to consider broccoli food, they survive on mac & cheese and more mac & cheese.
Every dinner is a battle, and you wonder when it is going to end.
It can drive us to drink ... coffee.
But there are strategies that work, strategies that make our lives easier, not harder.
Are you afraid of your child not getting enough of the good stuff to stay healthy? Afraid they will become a cheese pizza and french fries adult?
You're not alone. Many of us feel that way.
We're good parents. But sometimes our children's eating can make us feel like bad parents. Right?
What we need is an approach that is reasonable and non-judgmental. An approach that isn't about being perfect, being a supermom or superdad. An approach without fad diets or pressure to eat healthy all the time.
It's a gentle, enjoyable food parenting approach that makes us feel less stressed, more in control, and on our way to where we want to be, and where we want our child to be.
Lovely Emily took to solid food right away, she was itching to start at 5 months. She was willing to eat most anything - from oats to squash to bits of meat. Then suddenly around a year and a half, she started to push everything away, to say no, no, and no. Her parents were freaking. She's going to stop growing! But with modern advice on feeding, we got Emily back on track. It took time, patience, deep breaths. At 3 years, Emily was eating like a normal kid again, was healthy, growing fast. By age seven she was a self-proclaimed adventurous eater, and proud of it.
I do this work to help parents like myself, parents with children like Emily. Children who get oppositional about food, who stop wanting to try new things, who would rather collapse in a puddle on the floor than eat that.
In other words - children. Because most of this is normal stuff.
I do it because feeding is about love, support, and connection, not just eating.
I do it because I find our food environment frustrating - junk food ads, checkout aisle candy, vegetable-free kids' menus - all designed to make our lives harder as parents.
Not that children shouldn't get treats.
But I have two kids who think ice cream is a food group, and chocolate a human right. They would eat chips three meals a day if they could (different flavors each meal of course).
I just feel like it's maybe my job to teach them different, to introduce them to a world of delicious food beyond sour cream and onion, and mint chocolate chip.
Get started with my free infographic: 9 Secret Strategies for Raising a Healthy Eater. Click here to download it now:
I am a family doctor at the University of Ottawa, with a special interest in children's eating.
This website is meant to help you feel less stressed, less alone, more confident that you can raise a happy little eater and a healthy eating adult. It will cover children's nutrition, healthy eating tips, strategies for dinner-table sanity, nutritious food ideas.
The plan is to be helpful, cheerful, and non-judgmental.
Your feedback is, of course, always welcome. And email any time if you need a shoulder and tell me what you find hardest about feeding your child. Or post it to the Facebook group (especially if you have something nice to say ( ; ).
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