As parents, it’s easy to focus on a single element of our children’s eating: “are they eating healthy food?” But, there are so many other questions that are also worth asking.
Of course nutrition is important, we want our children to get from food the vitamins, minerals & energy they need to support their growing bodies. No one can argue that nourishing foods aren’t important for health. ‘Health’ however is a big picture thing & a big piece of the puzzle is our children’s relationship with food.
Other questions we can ask ourselves about the way our children eat include: “Do they enjoy food?”, “How does food/eating make them feel?”, “Are they able to listen to their bodies hunger cues?”, “Can they be flexible in their eating habits & preferences?”, “Do they trust themselves to make food choices that feel good for their body & spirit?”.
By focusing too heavily on nutrition or getting them to eat 'healthy,' we can undermine something even more important - competent, intuitive eating. A competent intuitive eater is someone who is comfortable eating a variety of foods that they ENJOY, who feels good about food & trusts themselves to eat an amount that is satisfying to them. It’s about being flexible, relaxed & comfortable with eating.
It is healthier to be able to eat (& ENJOY) all different kinds of foods than it is to worry about whether a food is 'healthy' or 'unhealthy’. The goal isn’t to get them to eat the broccoli today. It is to build a foundation for lifelong eating competence, health, & well-being!
About to introduce your bub to the world of food? My fact pack “Solid Starts” is a great resource full of evidence-based info & advice. Check out the link in my bio.
This post took inspiration (and words) from Mariel, the woman behind @nurturing.intuitive.eaters.rd. Go check her out!!