What we surround ourselves with makes a huge difference in the habits we fall into. If you want your kids to eat fruits and vegetables an important thing to do is to create an environment to encourage this goal. How do you go about doing this? Stock your kitchen full of colourful fruits and vegetables, and be sure to have some washed and ready to eat! Set a habit of making produce a part of every meal and every snack. The earlier you begin this habit with your children the better! The goal is to make eating fruits and vegetables a normal and expected part of their meals and snacks. This will help avoid some of the typical struggles with picky eating! This isn’t to say the cause of all picky eating is habits! I know firsthand there are multiple reasons for picky eating. However I do believe eating habits established at a young age play a big part!
I was curious about the eating habits of children raised vegan and vegetarian…where eating fruits and vegetables is a big part of every meal not a side dish…are there less issues with picky eating? I asked Ruby Roth, a Vegan Mom, teacher and children’s book author what her thoughts were on this subject. She said “As far as picky eaters go, it seems like parents who raise their children vegetarian or vegan from birth actually have an easier time than omnivorous families do incorporating greens and vegetables into their family’s daily diet. Our little one, born and raised vegan and mostly raw, was sucking on sprigs of chives when she was two! Chives are the kind of thing that most parents think a kid would pick off their food, but my experience is that what a kid likes to eat depends on what has been normalized in the household.”
The food parents provide has a big impact on the eating habits of their children. If the food is primarily unhealthy children will come to accept this as normal. Take Halloween for example, we end up with a lot of junk food in our homes which means we end up eating far more of it than we normally would…just because it’s there! It becomes the temporary new normal to eat a few chocolate bars a day! If we want our children to eat fruits and vegetables it makes sense to make it normal for them to be a part of every meal and snack!
Leave a comment on how you incorporate fruits and vegetables into your daily meals!
Get Dr. Greene's Wellness Recommendations
Sign up now for a delightful weekly email with insights for the whole family. Plus Dr. Greene's FREE Top 5 Wellness Tips For 2017.