Ever heard of chicken pork? No? Really?
Okay, well, technically I’m not sure it exists either, but when one of my daughters proclaimed that she only liked chicken, I felt like my only choice was to pretend that everything was pork. It sort of worked, sometimes at least. But what I realised was that the strategy was not only backfiring (my daughter grew stronger in her belief that she only liked chicken, even though it wasn’t true), I was also manipulating her into eating foods that I wanted her to eat.
What I could have done instead:
And you just welcomed your new healthy lifestyle. You have decided to be a different person now, lose weight, exercise 3 times a week, quit the booze, and indulge in veggies. Congratulations!
Chances are that you will succeed. For the next couple of weeks.
But then every-day life catches up and the veggies don’t find their way to your plate as easily. It gets complicated, it takes time, you realize that you weren’t that good at creating amazing, tasty salads after all. Dubious snacks start to sneak in, and you notice that your mind-set has shifted to “I might as well just…”. Welcome to the downfall of your new year’s resolution.
What often happens when we set up our New Year’s resolutions is that we set unrealistic and too restrictive goals that we have no chance of living up to and at the same time demanding of ourselves to make the switch over-night. And when we find ourselves having a hard time achieving those goals, we quickly fall into...
My Dad always made me finish my plate when I was a kid. And that never hurt me.
Ever heard that comment before? Maybe you have tried talking to friends or family about being more gentle and respectful at mealtimes with your little ones. Maybe you have talked about how it feels wrong to pressure your little ones into eating?
And then comes that sentence. And you start doubting yourself: “Maybe I am being too soft on my child? Maybe they are right? Maybe I ought to let my child know who is in charge here?”
I want to say this to you: Stand firm and stay gentle. You are on the right track when choosing a respectful approach. Because forcing, manipulating (like bribing and rewarding), and punishing are strategies that will never build trust.
That someone else survived (!) the old-fashioned approach doesn’t mean that it’s the best approach for you and your family. Especially if you:
- want to establish a respectful relationship with your child.
- want your...
When dealing with young selective eaters, it can sometimes be very frustrating when they again turn down the broccoli or the fish without having tasted just a tiny bit of it. Sometimes, we, therefore, resort to strategies that I have chosen to call mealtime manipulation strategies. Those strategies include food bribing, food rewards, punishing with food, or regulating emotions with food. But in this article, I’ll focus on when we sneak certain foods that our kids don’t like into a meal without telling them about it. Some examples are spinach in smoothies, cauliflower rice, or squash muffins. I’ll admit that I’ve engaged in this sort of manipulation, too: When one of my daughters declared that she only liked chicken, I would call pork “chicken-pork”, and it worked – she tried it. And I had it my way. But with time, I’ve also come to realize that this was not a victory. If I want to create a food hero and if I want my kids to be curious...