Yowza! I didn't mean to disappear for so long, starting my clinical rotation this semester at our county hospital knocked my socks off and not in a good way. Today was the start of my second official week on rotation and it's going alright. I feel like I'm not as smooth and effortless as I would like to be but I think that has a lot to do with the dietitan following with me and making me feel nervous. Not her fault, I just trip over myself with her for some reason. Onward.
Thinking about how to encourage and grow good eating habits in our children-I am renewing my efforts to feed my family better, stress and fatigue got the better of me lately and I realized what was happening and am taking steps to correct it before it becomes ingrained. Our son loves healthy nutritious foods as long as he is not offered foods of minimal nutritional worth too often. He always goes back to eating good things so I believe he genuinely likes fruits and veggies, milk, yogurt, hummus, cottage cheese, pita chips, plain cheerios etc. Today when we arrived home he asked for strawberries and cereal but settle for an apple, carrot strips and cottage cheese to dip instead.
What I have found that works for us:
1)I do not offer him a different meal than what I've prepared for us.
2)I model good eating habits myself without pressuring him and he usually can hardly wait to do what I am doing and to eat what I am eating.
3)I do not enforce the "clean your plate" mantra of yesteryear, I believe that wrecks inborn healthy eating patterns, making an intuitive process based on external cues instead.
4)I try to never rush him and am working with him on slowing down a bit to really taste what he's eating.
5)I let him help pick out what we are having a good bit of the time and I let him help me bring groceries in, stir things, etc.
6)I plan to have him help me pick out produce at the store, etc. soon. I believe having children (or other adults for that matter) involved in the process of preparing the food, procuring it, etc. encourages better choices. My ultimate ideal would be to have our own garden that we could all work on together and then enjoy beautiful tastiness born from our own labor.
What works for us may not work for others, just some thoughts on the matter. Working in an acute care setting forces your eyes wide open whether you like it or not. Invest in your families-time, love, wisdom.