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Involving Children in Food Decisions

Involving Children in Food Decisions

"There is a secret pride in every human heart that revolts at tyranny. You may order and drive an individual, but you cannot make him respect you." Most of us would probably agree that we would prefer to work in an environment open to ideas than in a tyrannical one. The same is true at home with your children. They may be small, but your kids would still prefer to make choices about the food they eat rather than have food pushed at them without the opportunity for input.

 As a parent, you need to be in charge, but instead of treating your kids like the peasants in your domain, recognize that they are citizens with some rights. One day they will need to stand on their own and make healthful decisions about their diet, and they won't be prepared to do so unless you start teaching them to make good choices now.

A good way to teach them about food choices is to sit down with them and plan a menu a week, two weeks, or even a month in advance. Make a game out of creating a grocery list for your planned dishes. Take your kids to the store with you and let them find ingredients and mark them off on the shopping list. Remember, both now and when they are on their own, your kids are more likely to eat healthy foods if you involve them in the decision making process by presenting them with healthy choices and letting them take it from there.


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