You Can’t Always Control Your Kids’ Diet

I want my kids to have the best chance in life by giving them the healthiest diet I can provide. Furthermore whatever this diet it is I also want them to like it. I know that kids need to eat the right stuff to grow up slender, smart and emotionally well off. However sometimes children have other ideas. Sometimes they want to eat food that is unhealthy for them because: 

-They have seen an advertisement on television for a food they find absolutely irresistible.

-Their peers at school put pressure on them to eat in the cafeteria or pay for lunch because it is more 'adult-like'

– it's just not cool to carry a brown bagged lunch.-Some foods are considered uncool (especially cut up vegetables) because the kids seem them as symbols that you are poor.

-They are already so addicted to sugar and carbohydrates they simply have no taste for healthy things. Some of these bad eating habits are in your control and others aren't. It is hard to hand your child a salmon and lettuce  sandwich when their head is filled with visions of sizzling Big Macs slathered with white sauce or exploding microwave Pizza Pops.  This kind of eating you can discourage even if your child is protesting the whole time. Here are some examples of situations where you may not be able to control what your child or adolescent is eating. 

-You are at a restaurant and healthy foods are just not available on a menu.-Your kid is subject to a lot of peer pressure from friends (this is especially true of adolescents in high school who will choose that fat laden chocolate milk shake or glass of Coca Cola with 14 tablespoons of sugar in it rather than an orange at lunch

-Your child is having dinner or lunch at the neighbours and you have no idea what's being served, how it is made or how healthy it is. 

I am not suggesting that you be a control freak and try and correct the above situations. I am merely pointing out what you can't change. 

However you do have more control over your kids eating habits at home.  Keep in mind that people don't like change and the more that you try to make these healthy foods a regular item on your menu the more likely you are to be called a control freak by your kids or husband. I bring up the matter of being a control freak because your neighbours, mother or husband may accuse you of it as you subtly try to sneak in more fruits, vegetables, grains and healthy grilled foods into their diet and somehow make it seem like a bad thing. This is because women, in particular tend to be very neurotic..

Even I sometimes wonder whether all of this neurotic obsessing with food is simply an extension of women obsessing over their own dietary intake.  Sometimes women control their kids when they can't control themselves.  God knows I don't want to be one of those but I do want them to eat in a healthy way.