New Year, New Eating!

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If you’d like to see some changes at your house regarding your kids’ eating habits, you may need to put some new rules in place.  And what better time to do that than the beginning of a new year?  Make 2011 the year that you focus on your family’s health and well-being, by teaching your children to eat a broader diet.  Here are some specific tips that can help with older kids, even if the situation seems hopeless!

n  Recognize that your own eating habits, and your attitude about food, plays a critical role in getting your children to eat better.  You can’t eat breakfast in the car, grab a coffee drink for lunch at 3:00 and serve a limited repertoire at dinnertime, and then expect your kids to do better. Resolved: This year, everyone in our family will eat better, and will think more critically about the foods we eat!

It’s time to cut out the waitressing routine!  I’m particularly sensitive about this issue, as it’s a bad habit I’ve fallen into myself.  When my children are eating breakfast, for example, and want a second helping, I’m too quick to hop up, run to the kitchen, and get it for them.  As children get older, they need to be taught to do these tasks themselves.  Self-service makes kids that much more vested in the foods they eat.

This year, we will eat at least one meal together each day – or every other day – as a family.  The rule needs to be firm, but the details can be as flexible as needed to make it work.  It may be breakfast some days, or the dinner hour may vary, but make it a point to set aside at least 15 minutes every day to have everyone seated together to eat.

In 2011, we will cut out – or at least cut back – on kiddie snacking.  A major part of learning to eat well is learning to anticipate mealtime; satiating every hunger whim with bad-tasting chips, crackers or most other between-meal snacks prevents this.  When your kids say, “I’m hungry!” respond with, “Great!  Dinner is in an hour.  We’re having (fill in the blank) tonight, and you’re going to love it!”

If you have some tips on breaking bad eating bad habits that have worked in your family, I’d love to hear them!

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3 Responses to “New Year, New Eating!”

  1. tryityoumightlikeit Says:

    I’ve never thought of myself as a waitress but I can see it now. I would love for everyone to stay at the table until everyone is done. Too often I’m left eating by myself after everyone else has gobbled down their food and run off to do something else. Or I’m sitting with my youngest as I remind him to continue eating instead of singing or something. Or the kids demand dessert when I haven’t even finished my meal. I’m looking forward to reading more on you blog.

  2. Cheryl Collett, Itty Bitty Foodies - Yummy Adventures with Kids! Says:

    Nancy
    I’m definitely cutting out the waitressing routine! And i’m not being a short order cook this year – Happy New Year

  3. Happy New Year – My Two Year Old Eats Octopus « ITTY BITTY FOODIES Says:

    […] to write down my New Year’s (Foodie) Resolutions, I stumbled across one of my favorite blogs My Two Year Old Eats Octopus byNancy Tringali Piho and thought I would pass on her pearls of wisdom. And my personal New […]

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