Family Matters

Picky Eaters: Curing a Sweet Tooth

Healthy food can be the only food offered.

We made a drastic change in the household, last week. After the holidays, my niece decided she’d like to stay a while longer. She wanted to spend 3 more days with us. I would have declined but, since my sister lives nearby, I thought it would be alright.  So my sister, Becky, dropped Sandra, my niece, off with her duffle bag and a couple of books. Everything went well until she wanted a snack.

Sandra discovered that we do not keep sweets around the house and when she asked if we would buy some for her, the answer was “no”. She had come to visit us, so she would have to eat what we eat. I sort of held my breath while watching her process the refusal, but she adjusted and forgot about the snack for a while. Later, she explored the kitchen and chose a piece of fruit to satisfy her craving. She never asked for sweets again, during her stay, but she ate a lot of fruits and protein bars.

I find this really interesting because friends are always telling me that their children will not eat healthy snacks and often shun part or all of the healthy meals placed before them. Well, my niece just backed up my sneaking suspicion that children will learn to eat healthy snacks when they have no other options. The trick is to be sure there are no other options hiding in a cabinet or the back of the refrigerator! If parents need little motivation, they could imagine the grocery money saved by refusing to buy processed, sweet snacks.

How do you get your children to eat healthier?

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