Food, a conversation

Let’s set it straight for a second, children don’t need to know about nutrition before they learn to love food. Engaging with textures and flavours and enjoying a range of them is the most important thing. Conversations around nutrition can add unnecessary pressure which is unhelpful, especially at a young age. Nothing should stop you however from having casual but interesting conversation about food, and the content of these can change dependent on their mood. 

The importance of variety

It’s great for kids to understand at any early age the importance of eating lots of different foods. Fruits and vegetables are a great way of doing this. Let them find their rainbow in the family shopping basket but don’t insist they eat the entire rainbow either.

Role model habits 

If you serve your kids broccoli but never touch it yourself, you might need to take a closer look at your diet. Every bite you take matters. Role modelling is one of the best ways to get your children on-board with healthier eating. If you are always talking about food and weight or fat, your children will pick up on that.

Keep it equal 

It is easy to respond differently to certain foods and say cake is ‘yummy’ but not say the same about broccoli. If we make one food sound better, children will want it more. So talk about the food with its name and then texture, colour etc.

Out with the bad, and the good

Labelling foods ‘good’ and ‘bad or ‘healthy’ and ‘unhealthy’ is unhelpful for children. Our job as parents is to make the choice about what we present our children and they make the choice as to whether to eat it. Low nutritional value foods don’t need to be off limits, but should be offered less often to them.

Hunger and fullness cues 

We’re born knowing to eat when we’re hungry and stop when we’re full. But that’s easy to ignore when you’re surrounded by giant portions and food smells. To help kids listen to their bodies, don’t push them to have one more bite or clean their plate. Turn off screens during meals, too. They distract kids from paying attention to how much they’re eating and when they’ve had enough. Talk to them about the feelings in their tummies of hunger and fullness, and help them see when they need food or when they have had enough. 

It can take time to break habits about how we talk about food. It’s not easy to stop things slipping off the tongue, but the effort is well worth putting in for the benefit of our children’s long term health. 

At Rumble Tums we have 14 different kids meals with a number of different tastes and flavours to encourage varied eating. We serve our meals in two age appropriate portions so kids aren’t faces with giant portions way beyond their age group. We include fun activities to get them away from their screens and to create an engaging, positive atmosphere around their meals. 

Are you ready to Rumble Tums? #letsgrow.