There are a lot of threads here on how to feed your kids healthfully and how to talk to them about nutrition.
However, there aren't any that deal with the next logical consequence: if you do a thorough job of explaining to your kids during meal prep, during grocery shopping, etc. about why you make the food choices that you do, it's inevitable that their crafty little brains will soon apply that knowledge, and in a social setting independent of their paleo parents, they might:
In other words, how do you keep your kids fully informed/educated about their nutritional choices while also teaching them the social graces (even for exuberant no-filter 3 and 4 year olds!) that are required to keep them from being social killjoys?
haaa! by not being a pompous know-it all who calls out other peoples food choices! ;) really though, i think its a good point. i remember a while back someone here said they tell their kids that grains are poison! all i could think was when that kiddo goes to school or to a friends house or a restaurant or ANYWHERE OUTSIDE OF THEIR OWN HOUSE and sees people- friends, family, teachers- eating what they have been told is "poison". and how would a little kiddo navigate that information?? i would be a bit upset if some smug little jerk told my daughter that the full fat cheese she was eating was poison, and she was going to die of a heart attack from eating so much sat fat.
i find its so hard to make healthy food choices and explain to kids why we eat certain things and not other things. we tend to be pretty loose with it all though. i only maintain control over the food thing in my own house. i HOPE that someday my kids will internalize it all and make healthy choices outside the house, too. i find its hard for ME when we are out with other moms whos kids are pounding juice boxes and eating gummie "fruit" snacks without limit. i mean, how do i tell my kids that they can only have one when their friends are eating dozens without their mom feeling badly about her own choices? im really not a fan of shaming people i enjoy spending time with into eating my diet. i usually end up bringing my own snacks (for everyone to share!) when we go to a playdate- cheese cubes and fresh fruit. anyway, i know this is tangential...
my kids hear all the time that this food helps you grow healthy and strong, that food doesnt help you grow healthy and strong but can be a special treat, and that food over there is not good for your body and you shouldnt eat it. im a wicked dork, too and whenever my kids comment on someone doing something cool- like jumping off the diving board (per the pool at the Y last week), i loudly say, "WOW! SHE REALLY MUST EAT A LOT OF VEGETABLES TO JUMP THAT HIGH!" haa!
in summary (?) i think that the best way to avoid your kids being judgmental of other peoples choices is to just really emphasize the positive choices that you all make as a family and individually.
I think the real problem here is that you've outdone yourself famgrok.
Your meal preps and customized lunchboxes are so great, and so creative, that your kids are having a hard time 'adjusting' to the reality that unfolds in front of them at school and elsewhere when out and about.
Kids will be kids when they are still kids. I say just teach them the social skills as best as you can and let them grow into it.
I treat conversations with my kids the same way I treat anything I post online -just assume everyone in the world can and will read/hear it eventually. I don't say things to my kids that I wouldn't want them to repeat to their vegan preschool teacher. We talk about food that makes us feel good and strong, and food that makes us grumpy and feel sick. I frame it all in terms of my body and their bodies, so when they repeat it, it sounds more like the personal choice that it is, "that food makes my tummy hurt", than a judgment on other people's choices, "that food is poisonous junk."
This is such a great question! I think that kids really mirror the attitudes that are around them (but I have a 2yr old - so he mimics everything we say and do right now!) - so since your attitude isn't pompous I don't think theirs will be (for long anyways - sometimes actually most of the time kids just say whatever pops in their funny little heads).
I'm interested to see how your journey goes as to this question - will you be blogging about this also??
I too think it's best to always give young kids important info from a ridiculously positive angle, and skate over the negative until they understand tact and the fact that not everyone does as they do.
I can't think of anything, really, that this doesn't apply to. Shaming and negativity leads to emotional, mental, and too often physical unhealthiness IMO.
Rather than labeling the processed foods you don't eat as 'bad', 'unhealthy', 'junk', 'will make you sick', 'nutritionally useless', 'sugary' - put all the focus on the healthy foods you do have in the house. Tell them how full of vitamins and minerals and healthy fats they are, and how eating these foods make you strong and fit, and keep your moods and energy level all day. Don't give in to demands to buy them processed foods, but let your kids try the (sadly) 'normal' food their peers eat. If you don't make them crave them as forbidden fruit, most of that stuff doesn't taste that good anyway...
You have to teach your kids respect for others ways, and when to keep their mouths shut in general anyway, this situation is no different. And like any other situation, when they are younger, things are going to pop out, part of being a kid.
I think the main thing kids should really be able to track and avoid during single digits and up to 12 is gluten. That and "sweets are bad and will make your teeth rot, like Timmy's there" will take care of any lasting damage if you control the rest of their food intake. I guess the job of any parent is to drag it out until 16 or so, when their wisdom teeth erupt properly. At least then you could say you've given them good healthy bodies unlike[insert examples of their mutant buddies with acne, braces and glasses]. These comparisons are extremely important. They will help tremendously in learning to observe and value their health by observing their peers. It should also be an easy sell once they hit the teens, because at that age they'll do anything to look pretty and not be so self-conscious.
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