Wednesday, November 25, 2009

No More Food Wars

Want a more peaceful home? Stop fighting about food.

Really! If your toddler won’t eat, don’t worry. If you’re preschoolers being picky about food, stop stressing. If your elementary school kid seems to need seconds (or thirds) for a week, don’t sweat it. If your teenager stops eating breakfast, just chill.

We want our kids to eat healthy and grow strong. But sometimes they know better than we do. I often tell parents, “Don’t force your child to eat something unless you really want to clean if off the floor when it comes back up.”

In my opinion, respecting a child’s eating preferences goes along with respecting themselves and their bodies. It is taking a step back and saying, “you are in control of you and no one is allowed to force you to do anything.”

Did I just say, cook you child whatever he wants to eat for every meal? No
Did I say let your child starve? No
Did I say I think it is totally cool if your kid will only eat red food for a year? Double No.

Of course medical issues need to be taken up with your pediatrician. If your infant isn’t eating enough. If your toddler had failure to thrive. If your pre-school child has food aversions. If your school child has diabetes or autism or allergies. If your teenager is heading for anorexia. All of this must be taken into account.

But for the most part, most of the time, kids’ food preference and the amount of food that they eat varies. A toddler may not be able to tell you that they don’t feel well. But you’ll sure find out if you force a bunch of food down their throat.

The best advice I have is:
1. Offer a wide range of healthy foods and snacks through the day
2. Let kids be involved in the food preparations
(when they get older they’ll cook for you, how cool is that?)
3. Make mealtimes / snack times fun
4. Don’t go to battle over what they chose to eat or not eat.



  1. That's good advice. I come from a family of fussy eaters, with a brother who ate nothing but cheese and carrots and a sister who ate nothing but grilled chicken. Now they are older they are becoming more experimental and eat different things. After spending years trying to force me to eat food I didn't want she realised there was more to life and didn't stress about it with them. We've all turned out ok!

  2. LOL! When I was a kid, I ate everything in site! Getting me to eat was not a problem!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. You are an intelligent Mom.

    Happy thanksgiving.


  4. You've got some useful info should I decide to procreate someday!

  5. EXACTLY! Kids eat what they feel like eating. As long as they're not shoveling rubbish in their mouth all day long, they WILL survive. It is not worth the fight. Offer them the good stuff, if they're hungry they'll eat. If not tough. Don't punish or reward with food. No need to create issues.

  6. Good advice! Happy Thanksgiving!