The struggle to feed picky eaters is a universal one among parents. I am currently fighting this battle myself, and it's proved to be a lot more challenging that I thought it would be. Not only do I have to worry about what I feed my kids, but I have to worry about what they're exposed to when they're with friends or visiting family or at school. For that reason, I've come up with some rules for eating around my kids.
No, I'm not a sugar oppressor or a diet dictator or a complete tyrant when it comes to what my kids eat, but I do want them to see a healthy example and inevitably follow it. As someone who struggles with a sugar addiction (yes, a real one), I can vouch for how difficult it is to walk the straight and narrow when it comes to nutrition. I wish my parents had never let me have that first cookie or ice cream or cupcake. I mean, who knows? Maybe I wouldn't have to avoid keeping sweets in my house.
Now that I'm trying to feed picky eaters of my own, I guess I understand why my parents caved when it came to sugar. Dealing with public tantrums is easily solved with a cookie or a sucker, and in those moments of stress, I can completely understand the desire to do whatever you have to do to get people to stop staring at your flailing child. However, I can't let that become routine,and I can't let that dictate my decisions when it comes to what I feed my kids. I have to (or more accurately, have chosen to), at the very least, make an effort to put good food in front of them on a consistent basis. I also realize that it doesn't stop there. I need my friends and family, and anyone else who might be taking care of my kids at some point, to do the same. Call me crazy or overbearing or whatever else you want, but please, for the sake of my children's health and their future relationship with food, if you're eating around my kids, try to follow the following ten rules: