When you live in a world like mine, FOOD can be one of the four letter words that create major STRESS! Combine your picky eaters, with the restrictions in their classrooms along with the Mommy guilt (that comes so naturally) and you have major FOOD STRESSES.
I think it goes without saying that every parent wants their child to be healthy. Every parent that I have ever met wants to make sure their child is eating enough.
I was talking with a mom of a five year old today. She said her child has some very strong issues about food texture and only wants to eat peanut butter on crackers. This is a very common characteristic in young children. He attends a kindergarten class where the teacher tries to promote healthy choices. She has restrictions for the students in her class to try to influence them to bring in healthy snacks. Children are to bring in yogurt, cheese, meat slice, hard-boiled eggs or fresh fruit. This poor child is lost at snack time. When a child is in a vegan household, their only choice here is fruit. That doesn’t seem fair. Then we add in the whole new dimension of food allergies and that limits the options even more.
So what can we do about this? Modeling! Don’t force children to eat food that they do not enjoy. Teachers, support your parents! Parents, support your teachers! You both have REALLY hard jobs. Trust me. I have both of those jobs together! And relax!
I used to bring a banana to school when I taught kindergarten. I would call any child that brought one too on my banana phone. I never once told the children to bring bananas for snack, but they almost all did! There is way more power in role modeling for children healthy choices than there is in putting unnecessary rules in place to create more stress. It takes a village to raise a child!