Give me more, please! Teaching toddlers moderation.
Guest Post by: Jennifer Seyler, RDN
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Our house will soon be filled with my husband’s favorite foods pizza and ice cream – mine, too! Because our household is a “do as I do” house, this means our children may also be eating these items, if they wish.
Holiday’s are always going to be a “stressor” to the normal routine – anything in moderation – but that provides an opportunity for the kids to learn why we eat in moderation.
Our best strategy to combat the “give me more…more, more, more” is talking about the reason why we eat a little of everything and not a lot at one time. We explain that if you eat too much of anything, your stomach could hurt. And if your stomach hurts, you may not feel good and may want to lay down. If you lay down – and it isn’t sleepy time – then you could be missing out on playtime.
Our approach to being parents is to serve as a guide and to help our children understand the “why” so they can grow up making decisions that are best for them. Having to make decisions around food is something that will happen several times a day, everyday for the rest of their lives. Being able to deal with added food pressure and/or temptations around the holiday’s is inevitable; we can only hope that the guidance and decision making tools we provide them now, help them when we can’t be around them 24-7.
Jennifer Seyler is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) who lives in Chicago with her husband Eric, and two sons, Major (2 ½ and Levi 1 ½. She is the founder of Creative Eating for Kids, a site that chronicles her family’s eating adventures with practical tips and fun food photography.