As a family, we just finished up Thanksgiving. And this holiday, in particular, pointed out to me just how picky we can be as eaters; both as kids and adults. I don’t know about your family, but on our table, we had no less than 7 sides and 4 desserts to accompany our turkey friend. And I know that not every day is a food focused holiday like Thanksgiving, but a lot of the variety seemed to stem from the statements “Well so and so has to have their insert dish” or “ Insert Name will never eat that.” So, it got me thinking; How do we make decisions on what to eat or not and how do we combat the tendency to recoil from anything different from our chosen standards in our kids, family and ourselves?
First let’s think about why we choose to eat what we eat. Do we base these choices off:
All these are legitimate questions to guide your food choices, but I would challenge you to think about as many of them as you can at once when choosing your meals. Often, we get stuck on maybe one or two aspects of eating and do not think about the holistic nature of food and how it plays multiple roles in our lives. Just thinking about what is good for us physically or developmentally can be challenging, so I like to break this part down to two main points:
What does this look like in practice? When planning for the family, these points help keep the advice above grounded:
So what are truly poor choices? Avoiding these habits will help keep your food choices in the healthier zone.
What can also be tricky is that last question we listed above- What will my child, family or self actually eat? In my next post I will share a couple of tips and tricks to help expand your eating horizons in a fun family friendly way.