Children and FoodI have seen a huge improvement in my children's diets since I first started going raw, three months ago. All three of them enjoy a green smoothie almost every morning. My five year old loves salad. My two year old could happily be a fruitarian. My one year old will eat anything. I have been cooking mostly vegetarian at night. I make them raw "ice cream" for an afternoon snack several days a week, which they LOVE. I have eliminated almost all drinks, other than water, from their diet, and they no longer expect to have juice or milk with their meals. They do still eat plenty of junk though. My husband's Cheez-its, chips, cereal, cheese, etc. There is still plenty of room for improvement in their diets.
I have thought a lot about how I should handle eating issues, such as not wanting to eat what I have made for dinner. I want my children to have a healthy relationship with eating. I don't want them to eat, just because the clock (or Mom) says it's dinnertime, but at the same time, I want to have a family dinnertime. And, if my children don't like what I have made, I don't want them to go to bed hungry, but I don't want them to think this is a restaurant either. I understand that children's tastes change often...my children were on a huge PB and Honey kick for a month...as of yesterday, none of them liked it. What is a Mama to do?
Lately, I have implemented a few "food rules" around here, which seems to be working well for now.
1. They may have any fruits and vegetables they want, any time of day. They do not have to ask. If they are hungry, they may go in the kitchen and get an apple, or banana, or carrots without asking permission first. This applies mainly to my 5 year old, since the others are still too small to help themselves.
2. If they are not hungry at dinner time, I will leave their plate out and they may eat it later.
3. However, if they do not want what I have prepared, they may not have anything else, other than fruits and vegetables, until the next meal.
I am still thinking through this, but for now, this seems to be a good solution.
How do you/ did you/ will you deal with children and food in your home? What do you do about picky eaters?