Kids in charge....
First and foremost - a little introduction to this section of my website.
What you will get here and on my Kids Advice section are honest accounts, evidence-based facts and figures about what our kids need and some kid friendly recipes, advice and hopefully some useful tips that you can put into practise. Whether your kids are angels or devils when it comes to eating and trying out new foods, hopefully there's something here for everyone!
Sadly I am not one of those people with kids who will eat anything and everything. So rest assured there will be no singing to the stars about how my kids beg me for more maitake mushrooms to top off their quinoa and kale veggie bowl. I wish.... I admit it - I have in the past been pretty green with envy at friends who have kids that eat whatever is put in front of them. I, like so many of us have really struggled with the challenges of very difficult eaters and fussy mini tastebuds.
My first born was incredibly challenging in the culinary department and we struggled with her in the early years. Thankfully through perseverance and the fact she's nearly seven, she is getting more adventurous and experimental with her food and we really encourage her to be creative, involved and have fun in the kitchen helping us cook. It's starting to pay off. The interest in food is now there, and to me that's the most important thing. You will get to see the results of her dabblings in the kitchen in future posts!
Things were looking hopeful for my second born. I was armed with the knowledge gained at nutrition school for him, so I felt confident that if I did everything a little differently, I might wind up with different results....I was curious to do a little bit of a social experiment. He drank only breastmilk (via expressing as annoyingly he didn't take to breastfeeding the normal way!), his diet was super clean and he was in charge with baby-led weaning. I felt like I was getting somewhere. Twelve months down the track with my little guy and so far so good - his fave foods were oily fish, green veg, lentils, healthy soups and generally the pretty nutrient packed repertoire that he was used to in my pregnancy. Then he hit thirteen months and it all went downhill and we're waiting for him to get back into loving good food again. We are still struggling with him, but we know there's plenty of time for him to come round so we keep on doing the right things and are now just waiting patiently for the tide to turn...
So if you have experienced the challenges of fussy eaters, trust me, I hear you and I know how frustrating it can be.
I'm not going to be all annoying and evangelical saying that you will be able to dish up the world's healthiest plate of food and expect your kids to gulp it down - it just won't fly with some kids! My advice is that you just have to keep trying and persevering and remember that even though you may be greeted with'no' and 'yuck' rather than ' Thanks Mum - I know this took you hours of cooking from scratch and expensive ingredients - I'd love to taste it' (!!)'...it's worth trying your best to teach good habits and the importance of natural real food. You may be preaching to deaf ears right now - but eventually it will sink in. By encouraging a healthy diet from the get go, it's been proven that you will be setting your little ones up for better health forever and preventing disease in the future.
The current state of health in the Western World is beyond frightening. With rapidly rising rates of childhood tooth decay (did you know that in the Uk 46% of eight year olds have decay in their milk teeth?!), obesity and incidence of diabetes II in the under 12's, its looking pretty grim for our kids generation. The most empowering thing for us as parents is that these conditions can 100% be prevented if we instil the right ideas about food and eating into our kids from the start, and lead by example.
You can treat this section of my website as a tried and tested experiment! Anything that appears on here must be close to a dead cert, having literally been through the wringer with two not-so-compliant little eaters!