Leadership, Coaching and Development are three of my favorite subjects to talk about. Let's face it...we need coaches and mentors to grow. In fact, only 5% of the workforce can truly be successful without being coached or developed. The challenge in the workforce is that Managers are often too busy to spend time coaching their employees. Unfortunately, this statistic doesn't just apply to the workforce. It holds true at home with our children and the challenges we as parents face are very much the same as Managers in a company.
A recent survey showed that only 2% of kids regularly chose healthy food on their own. That means 98% of our children need our leadership, coaching and direction to help them make nutritious decisions.
So where do we start?
I used to spend a lot of time sneaking vegetables in food, working with food art and creating games around eating their veggies. A few months ago I transitioned away from those methods and just started having honest discussions about the benefits of eating healthy.
My oldest child is 5 and is "getting" this concept. We've taught him that fruits are a great way to start your day and that they give him the energy he needs to learn and play at school. He now knows that some foods make his heart strong and that other foods help his eye sight. And God Bless Popeye! He still helps us out with our greens to build muscle strength - something that both of my boys have a real interest in.
The rewarding thing for me is that our kids are now starting to eat these foods because they want to be healthy. My oldest asked to try asparagus at dinner this week (something that he rejected many times in the past) and then asked if he could have some fruit to snack on. ChaChing!!
Give this approach a try - especially if your kids are a little older and able to comprehend the concept. With good coaching, direction and leadership maybe we can start to move the needle and equip our children to make healthy decisions on their own.
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Keep an open mind as you read this post. It defies everything we have been taught or told our kids. For generations upon generations we have heard the adage "clean your plate before you get up from the dinner table." Research shows that we may be sending the wrong message to our children in doing this.
Here are some things to think about:
- Kids need to learn to trust when their stomach is full. For each kid this will be different and it may not necessarily be when the plate is clean.
- Forcing our kids to finish their plate when they may not be hungry can begin the trend of overeating.
- Sometimes we may put too much on their plate. Remember...their serving size is different from ours. Start your kids off with smaller portions. If they want more, that's great!
- What about dessert? If they aren't hungry enough to eat their dinner, then it's probably a good idea to scratch dessert. Don't use dessert as a reward to eat though. Tips on that next week.
Getting children to eat at the dinner table- let alone eat healthy- are challenges for many parents. Stay tuned as we continue to tackle these issues. Next blog post: Using food as a reward. Good or Bad?
A simple and inexpensive way to get your kids involved in healthy food is to create an herb and vegetable garden at your home. Don't have a lot of space? That's ok. You only need a few pots and your produce will be growing in no time.
For less than $30, we were able to begin a small herb garden and 3 vegetables plants. The kids loved being a part of the planting process. Our oldest is in charge of the tomato, and pepper plants. Our youngest is in charge of the herb garden and strawberry plants. The kids love the opportunity to "play" in the water. And on the days that they forget...the drip irrigation system is in place to ensure a healthy harvest.
Now is the perfect time to start your mini kids garden. Good Luck!!