Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Healthy Tip

I do our school newsletter. If I need a filler I add in a "Healthy Tip of the Month." My tips come from Raising Healthy Eaters, 100 Tips for Parents by Henry Legere, M.D.

This is a great little book. It's easy and fast to read. You don't even have to read the entire book, you can just go through and read which tips sound good to you at the time. Here is one I feel very strongly about.

Tip 26 - Even if your kids are picky eaters, don’t cook separate meals.

There are many things you can do  to encourage your children to enjoy their meals, but one thing you should not do is prepare different meals for them. Your children will not allow themselves to starve, so don’t worry if they skip the occasional meal or if they just pick at some of your dishes. You’re not a waitress, and your kitchen isn’t Denny’s, so don’t feel that you have to whip up a separate meal for each of your kids. Let’s face it: most parents don’t have the time or the energy to prepare a separate meal for each member of the family, and you shouldn’t feel obliged to.

There are some things that you can do, however, to encourage your children to eat with the family. Include your kids in a weekly or monthly menu planning, but don’t allow them to engineer each meal around their one or two favorite foods. You should be aware of your children’s favorite dishes and do your best to incorporate them into your menu at least every other week. For typical meals, incorporate familiar and acceptable dishes, but keep in mind that children still need to be exposed to new types of foods. Remember, kids may reject a food more than ten times and then come to like it, so persevere.

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