Stop forcing kids to eat food they don’t like. 

A new study published in the Appetite journal showed that forcing kids to eat doesn’t change their eating habits or help them become healthier. Family dinner should NOT be all about the food. When psychiatrist Dr. Neha Chaudhary saw the study, she completely agreed. She mentioned that the nutritional benefits that comes from the two bites of broccoli you force your kid to eat doesn’t outweigh the benefits of a happy family experience. A sit-down family dinner can be exactly what your child, or any child for that matter, needs. Having quality time to talk allows the child to express themselves and bring up any problems he or she may have, which is a crucial part of growing up.

Children go through a lot. Sometimes, their minds are working so hard that it seems to them as if it’s all too much. Having someone to talk to allows them to have a healthier mind, and therefore an overall healthier self.  A healthy mind can lead to better choices and maybe even healthier eating habits. So, no, screaming at child at the dinner table to eat his or her vegetables won’t exactly help them grow up to be strong. Instead, try talking to them about their day and their choices.

Another study shows that keeping certain foods from children and forcing them to eat healthier results in the exact opposite of what you would think. When a group of researchers restricted a certain food from children over a period of time, the results were shocking. After the food restriction had been removed, the children ate more of the food than a group of kids who weren’t restricted did. Because they had been restricted from it, they wanted even more when they were free to eat as they pleased. This discovery is important in understanding children’s eating habits and food addiction later on.

Simply restricting food isn’t enough, for anybody. While we 100% go by restricting sugar, we know that’s not all it takes to beat food addiction and become healthier. Being mindful and being able to have relationships with people is just as important. Being able to make your own choices with the help of others is crucial. Don’t scream at your child because he or she isn’t eating the right thing. Don’t get angry with yourself because you don’t eat veggies with every meal. Beating food addiction can be done happily and doesn’t have to be done alone. Be happy and be healthy.

Shine Bright!!

Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash