Tuesday, December 11, 2012

You Are in Charge, Not Your Kids!

Okay, so, these were filmed late at night and we did go through a gazillion takes (finishing up about 2 a.m.....my husband is a saint).  Which means I was a little loopy.   But I wanted to expand a bit because I did try and keep the videos shorter.  Forewarning, some of the rules will be a video unto themselves because I get a little more heated passionate about them.

So, when it comes to being in charge of your child's food education it means starting it from the time they are just beginning to eat solid foods.  It means introducing them to a variety of flavors and textures.  We followed the food allergy guidelines for about a second before we realized that no one in our families really have food allergies and that being overly cautious was bordering on boring our 6 month old.  So by the time Nora was 7 months old she had tasted a lot of foods.  That number is now well over 100 different foods.  Everything from brussels sprouts to beef heart to blue cheese to popsicles.  Oh yes, she likes sweets....a lot.  Still, the idea that children will not eat veggies if you give them sweets because they're biologically made up like that is b.s.  You may naturally prefer sweeter things, but it doesn't have to make up your diet.

As parents to an infant/toddler, we are given advice a lot.  Our rule of thumb is to listen, thank them, and generally just ignore them.  Because we feel well informed enough to do that.  We didn't give Nora rice cereal because it can easily clog a baby up.  Instead we mixed a little oatmeal into yogurt for her breakfast and gave her bits of banana.  She has turned out to enjoy food and now eats whatever it is we're having for our meals.

When it comes to the second rule, I cannot stress it enough how hard of a mindset change it is if you currently think of food as a reward, punishment, or bribe.  This may be a tough one for you.  You shouldn't reward your children with food for behaving well in a store.  Ice cream is a delightful treat, and perhaps could be their afternoon gouter (the French version of an afternoon snack, eaten around 4/4:30).  But it should not be used as a bribe or reward.  You shouldn't have to bribe your children with crap food to keep them quiet at a restaurant. 

And food most definitely is not a punishment.  If they won't eat their meal, don't force them.  At times Nora has been disinterested in whatever I was offering.  So I would take it away, put it in the fridge and she'd have it at the next meal.  I didn't cater to her, I didn't frantically try to come up with something else.  If she didn't want to eat, she didn't have to eat.  Children will not starve themselves, but they will quickly learn if you stick to your guns.

These were mild topics.  Next up we have the "no short order cooking" and "eat together without distractions"....two topics I feel quite strongly about.  Stay tuned!


  1. Great advice! You should write a magazine article on this and try to shop it around to parenting magazines...you really know what you are talking about! Nora is lucky to have a mom like you :)

  2. Thanks Crystal! I'd actually never thought about writing for a magazine, much less a parenting one, but I'm definitely considering it now.

  3. Another great video! I'm loving this series.

  4. Great tips that will serve Nora well as she grows up. I agree with Cyrstal, Nora is lucky to have you for her Mum! ;-)