"The Paleo Diet" (L. Cordain): You can only eat so much pure butter until you had enough... Maybe this rule doesn't apply to my little girl, must be genetic, her daddy has the same condition.
I must admit, there was a time when I was convinced my daughter was only going to eat healthy things and would never get chips, peanuts, cookies, pie, cake, ice cream and what not. That time is long gone. By choice!
When I first started reading up on radical unschooling, I found a blog post about food. Radical unschooling basically means you hand your children the right tool kit and trust them to make the right decisions for themselves in all aspects of life. Food is one of those things.
Basically it comes to this where food is concerned: let them have it, tell them about the nutritional value of each food and then allow them to make their own choices. Now with a 20 month old, you can imagine there's not a great deal of explaining about the nutritional value of food, but we do leave her to decide. She can have whatever is around (with a few exception such as raw meat/fish/seafood and non-edible stuff, of course) and surprise, surprise! She hardly asks for cookies or chips.
When my daughter gets hungry, she'll go to the kitchen and point out what she wants, either from the fridge or the kitchen cabinets. She'll have a bit of chocolate when we're having some. She eats potato chips when we're out and about and they're on the table. But given the choice, 3 times out of 4 she'll pick an apple instead of a cookie.
If you are still worried: You are doing the grocery shopping, not them. Maybe you should reconsider your own diet if you are worried about what your children might or might not be eating. Make sure you have the healthy food options right there for them to consume. Think about it: if you are worried about your child eating something you eat, then why are you having it?
I really believe that, given the choice on a regular basis, even this small, children can make the right decisions for themselves. Same goes for the amount of food they eat.
Let them eat when they're hungry and eat until they're full!
If they're happy and healthy, there's no need to be worried if your child doesn't eat a full serving at dinner. Food should be fun, not a cause of stress. They are much more in touch with their body then we are.
Our parents' mania of three meals/ finish your plate etc pushed us completely out of touch with our body's needs and makes us overeat, eat the wrong things and go hungry between meals.
Next to eating the wrong food, not listening to our bodies' needs is one of the main reasons so many people are obese in Western society.
Trust your kids! We trust our pets to eat the right amount of food and let them fast if they so desire, so why would we force feed our children?
Three meals a day is a practical thing, not a health choice. It's so much easier to have scheduled eating for schools/employer. It is also easier on the designated cook. It is not better for your body.
Unschooling and food
Radical unschoolers network
Baby led weaning
Until next time!
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