Re-thinking Mealtimes - a Different Way to Approach Picky Eating Featured

Authors: Registered Dietitians

Variety of nutritious foods

( A new school year is upon us!  With it brings a chance for a fresh start for all kinds of routines – before and after school, homework, and bedtime.  Looking for a fresh start with your child’s eating?  “Begin with the end in mind”.
“Begin with the end in mind” is the first of the habits that the late Stephen Covey discussed in his popular book  Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.   This is the habit of having a dream and defining a vision.  The habit where all things are created twice – once when you imagine it (your mental creation) and once in reality (your physical creation).  Being able to visualize the “end” allows you to create plans to get you where you want to go. 

When you think about your child’s eating, what is the “end” that you envision?

Do you hope that your child:

• will be able to eat a variety of foods?
• will choose to include vegetables as part of his diet, even when you are not there?
• can prepare balanced meals? 
• will know how to include some of her favourite foods while still nourishing her body?
• will have a healthy relationship with food?

It is helpful to think about what it is that you hope for, because it may help you keep perspective to the challenges we all face when feeding our children.  For example, your child refuses to eat their broccoli.  Think about how important that piece of broccoli is to you - do you want your child to eat it today? Or do you want your child to learn to include vegetables in his diet?  Another common challenge – what do you do when your child does not eat very much at supper.  Do you want your child to take just 3 more bites? Or do you want your child to learn how to recognize her hunger and fullness cues?  How is what you are doing today going to help you achieve your vision?

Healthy eating is not about being perfect – there is no such thing!  But, it is helpful to think about your vision around your family’s eating - what is it that you want?  Where do you hope to go?  This vision is your road map for your day-to-day eating struggles.  As Mr Covey said, “begin with the end in mind”. 



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