Tips for feeding toddlers and celebrating Opposite Day – January 25th!
Guest post by: Jennifer Seyler, RD
As a registered dietitian, I understand the importance of eating a variety of foods and the desire to consume foods in moderation, no matter what type of food it is. I also understand that kids need to have a healthy relationship with food, and as a mother, and someone who grew up with a strong emotional connection to food, I want to make sure that my husband and I as parents, don’t take the fun out of eating and make it stressful, but rather instill healthy lifestyle behaviors that our children can continue to build upon as they grow.
Creating a balance between the two can be a challenge, but we have found success in not making any food better than another. This means that cookies aren’t a reward and carrots aren’t something you have to eat in order to get something that tastes better.
When it comes to dessert, our main objective is to not put too much emphasis on it so the kids don’t get in a “good food” “bad food” mentality — dessert is something we eat once and awhile, and while we typically eat it after dinner, it sometimes pops up after breakfast or lunch.
One of the main reasons our family takes this approach is because our desserts vary so much, from fruit, to peanut butter, to cookies, to yogurt — it is basically just something else we as a family really want to eat. While we tend to keep most the cake, cookies and ice cream eating for birthdays or holidays, sometimes a cookie slips in every now and then, just to celebrate for the sake of celebrating.
Everyone enjoys our family meals and desserts together as a family.
Jennifer Seyler is a registered dietitian nutritionist who lives in Chicago with her husband Eric and two sons, Major (2 1/2) and Levi (1 1/2). She is the founder of Creative Eating for Kids, a site that chronicles her family’s eating adventures with practical tips and fun photography.