For several years in a row, we have learned to choose and love healthy foods. And now every second without hesitation will list items from the list of "prohibited" and give a lecture on the importance of drinking regime. I'm afraid I'm no exception. I mentally regret that in childhood I was not instilled in the correct eating habits, and I am determined to lay them down to my son. But, as always, it is difficult not to go to extremes here: it is obvious that eating only fries and pasta is evil, but forcibly making people fall in love with vegetables is the way to nowhere. How to maintain balance and teach the child to choose the foods he needs, I asked Leonid Elkin, a doctor of the highest category, the author of his own method of losing weight, which teaches you to hear yourself and choose those dishes and in those quantities that are necessary for the body.
Leonid Arkadyevich works a lot with children and knows all the side effects of our hyper-care. Key point: the best we can do for a child is to keep up with him with our healthy food!
Doctor of the highest category, the author of the patented method of losing weight
- The main problem is that the parents think: the child should eat the way they see it. They absolutely do not pay attention to what he wants, what he likes. Let's say a 2 or 3-year-old toddler says, “I want a sandwich with a doctor’s sausage,” and this is perceived as a disaster. The parents say, "Eat broccoli." But now, firstly, he cannot be explained that it is healthy and even tasty. And, secondly, he may not like the taste of broccoli. And not everyone will really like it. As a result, instead of a habit, an anti-habit is formed. Well, you will force him, he will eat something through force, but then he will categorically refuse the product. And then: who said that a sandwich with a doctor's sausage is terrible?
But white bread is not useful! And there is little good in the sausage …
- Wait, we are talking about a small child, not about a person who weighs 140 kg! He shouldn't eat it, yes. But a one-time action with a sandwich will not lead to anything bad: he will try and calm down. This does not mean that he will eat sausage sandwiches all his life. If we remember what we loved in childhood and compare it with what we choose now, these are two big differences.
I asked Leonid Arkadyevich to formulate rules that will help build a correct relationship with food in the child (and his mother at the same time).
1. Prompt, not insist
The child feels his needs well, he knows what he wants and how much. Do not force or insist: offer, suggest. Offer different options. He will say: broccoli - no, porridge - no, but creamy vegetable soup - yes. With homemade crackers - yes.
2. Do not impose your eating habits
There is, of course, a set of products that would be nice to be in the diet: butter - vitamin A. With bread or porridge. Whole milk, real, preferably: no for adults, yes for children. Fermented milk products are beneficial due to calcium and bacteria. But here you need to pay attention to the child's eating habits, this is important. Do not impose yours on him.
Why do you think children eat badly in the morning? Because from 7 to 9 in the morning the bloodstream is renewed in the body. We send our children to school, kindergarten, try to feed them, but it is physiologically difficult for them to eat. We are worried that he will go hungry, and we are trying by any means to shove food. Please note that any living creature, when it does not want to eat, does not eat. If he wants, he eats. A child, if hungry, will eat - he won't even ask us. And if it doesn’t eat, the body doesn’t want to, is not able to. That is, you need to work with your anxiety and your head, and not with your child, because these are your fears. Look, you have even lived with your husband for a long time, but you have different tastes. Someone loves sweets, some do not. Some people like tea, and some like coffee.
3. Ask more often what the child wants
Why don't parents do it? They are afraid that they will hear in response: I want a cake. It is clear that this is wrong, then it is necessary to explain why it is not necessary to eat cakes in the morning. Do it very calmly: they say, sweets in our life are like the completion of some kind of food, but we have not eaten anything yet. How to complete something? This time. The second is not food, this is a delicacy. You can't eat it. There will be cake, but not now, but in the evening or in two days. You do not say that you will not give it, you say that it will. Again, suggest the main trick. Well, let's say: don't you like buckwheat porridge? Semolina? Oh well. But, for example, hercules? Oh Hercules yes.
Calmly, not like "if you don't sing, you won't leave the table." This cannot be done categorically, because a reflex is formed that you are a bad boy or girl, and if you eat porridge, you will be good. Here you also need to control yourself. Not "you and I don't have time, we need to go to kindergarten, to school," but "okay, if you don't want to, don't eat." Well, he will be hungry, and next time he will eat, nothing terrible will happen. You can always talk and explain, as with an adult, but be prepared that he will not understand right away, of course.
4. Do not contradict yourself
In my practice, I had the following story: a patient brought me a 9-year-old daughter, a rather plump girl. Her grandmother was sitting at home with her, an absolutely Soviet person. And her grandmother always gave her cheesecakes with her, which she baked herself. The girl came and quietly gave us these rolls: take it, I don't want to eat it, otherwise what's the point of going to you? What did my grandmother tell me? Doctor, well, you and I are almost the same age, how do you starve your children, how you can! That is, in her view there are no dumplings, pancakes, cheesecakes - a disaster. And the child realizes that there is some kind of contradiction in this whole story - with the trip to me and the buns. Children are much more intelligent than they might seem.
5. Give them freedom
Here is a very important point, which I always tell parents: in addition to eating habits, you form a sense of inner freedom in children. And give them this freedom!
Otherwise, the child realizes that he has no choice, that in order for mom-grandmother-dad not to get angry, he must eat it. It doesn't matter that he physically cannot. Well, he doesn't want to.
Remember: you run, play football on the street, your parents shout: "go and eat." You fly in, grab a piece of bread, and to you - "no, sit down and eat, then you will go to play football." But at such moments, the child physically cannot eat, because he is so charged, he is in another. But in four hours he will be hungry.
We often remember how our grandparents lived, how we were in childhood, but what does this have to do with it? The life of people today and 30-40 years ago is different. React calmly: if you do not want to eat, do not eat, do not force.
6. Get behind them with vegetables
For children, carrots and celery are not tasty, they are not pleasing to the eye. But if there is a peach, orange, apple - yes. They are colorful, good smelling, sweet. Just imagine a vase with fruits and vegetables and a plate of vegetables next to it - well, he will take carrots? No. He needs to live up to 25-30 years in order to understand that it is delicious.
7. Let them eat sugar
Why limit children to sweets? There is no need to offer something specially for tea every time, but you also don’t need to shake over every sweet piece that gets into his mouth. But you can make cookies yourself, together with your child, put high-quality ingredients in it, there is less sugar. And let him eat them at home: cookies are a good thing, children move well, they do not need to limit sugar. After all, our body temperature changes 4-5 times a day. The sugar level changes physiologically 4-5 times, we need it.
Now it is fashionable to replace sugar with fruits and dates. But here you need to understand that when you switch to dried fruits, such an amount of sugar is triggered in the body! But this, again, concerns more adults than children. Dried fruits - they're out of control. To eat a bag of dried apricots - even a child costs nothing. And the sugar there - dear mom!
You don't need to modernize your child's food. Now this is fashionable and useful, but if he does not like it, you will force. What for?
8. Understand: When you think your child is eating nothing, he is eating
Tell me, where does the child like pasta, dumplings? This is a family eating habit. They gave it one try - he remembered. But today there are no dumplings in the family, tomorrow too, what will we eat? No dumplings, no pasta, but there is an omelet, there is pilaf. You say there will be nothing. It doesn't work that way. He eats, but not as always, but less. Or snacking on something that you, for some reason, don't consider food.
9. And sometimes he can eat even more than necessary
And there is another extreme - children eat a lot. An average normal adult or child cannot be hungry all the time if he is doing well, just like an adult or child cannot just go to the toilet and sit there doing nothing. Therefore, I always say: if you sit down at the table and eat everything, but at the same time everything is good with health, this is licentiousness. So, so that this licentiousness was not, parents should gently and gently just prompt.
10. Be stricter with grandmothers
It's more difficult with grandmothers, because grandmothers are absolutely unpersuasive. If you live in the same territory or they often come to you, just negotiate. Take it - it's easier to come to an agreement here. If you want me to bring you a child, let's discuss so that I don't suffer later that he ate something wrong. There is a moment that grandmothers in their irrepressible love often do not share when dietary restrictions are not a whim, but a necessity, when children have allergies. Here, either to negotiate, or not to carry.
But remember that both they and you want the best. But the best is the enemy of the good.