Food Doesn’t Have to Be a Fight

By Kavanagh Danaher, RD, BSN(H)

I see clients in all life stages, but there is nothing more effective for lifelong healthy behaviours around food as talking to a parent and child about food. In terms of preventing chronic disease and unhealthy coping mechanisms related to food, parents play the primary role. Kids create lifelong habits and relationships with food throughout childhood. Many parents are frustrated with picky eating or limited intakes in their kids. I relish the opportunity to talk about how we can work together to increase your child’s horizons around food.

Increasing Variety in Your Child’s Diet and Creating a Healthy Relationship with Food

Photo by Providence Doucet on Unsplash

Many children have their favourite foods and mealtimes begin to be a battleground to try and get anything into the child’s tummy. This of course is stressful for all involved and the risk is that the child is not expanding their food variety at important mealtimes. Unfortunately, many popular strategies such as “if you eat your vegetables you can have dessert” can create a power struggle and a list of good and bad foods in the child’s mind. As many ex-chronic dieters can attest to, labelling foods as bad only makes you want them more. By taking a look at what the contributing issues may be, a strategy for increasing new foods can be determined. Ensuring your messaging is consistent with the best practice recommendations for increasing variety in your child’s diet is the first step.


Take Action

If you are interested in doing some more reading, I would highly recommend looking at Ellyn Satter’s work on child feeding.  I offer counselling for children of all ages, prefaced by a meeting with just the parent. If you are interested in this service, please contact Squamish Integrated Health at 604-567-2666 or book online for an initial consultation for yourself and we will discuss an appropriate meeting plan for you and your child.