My 4 year old daughter Simone said yesterday – “Let’s have Sushi for dinner mummy”? I was a little puzzled to hear that, but I played along and we went to eat Sushi. I was surprised to see that she ate her Sushi, (except the wasabi or ginger- I would have been astonished if she ate those). So today I mentioned that behavior to the baby sitter, but she wasn’t as surprised as I was. Her response was – “oh coz on Tuesday her friend, someone my daughter has weekly playdates with, was eating sushi when they went to play at the park”…Ah Ha! That was it! I had stumbled upon a secret for raising healthy eaters.
It got me thinking of other instances where my daughter has started to eat new types of food such as seaweed, hummus, stuffed olives, etc., only because she saw other kids eat it. I had the seaweed packets from Trader Joe’s for the longest time in the pantry and my daughter wouldn’t touch them. Then one day we had a playdate at our place and my daughter’s little friend ate it, and since then Simone has never looked back. Now, she can easily eat a packet on her own.
So the SECRET to raising healthy eaters is to surround them with children who eat healthy themselves! We do it with other areas for our kids. As parents, we want to surround our kids with other kids who are well behaved, get good grades at school, and are a positive influence. So let’s also surround our kids with children who eat healthy. I understand that even the most healthy eating kids have their off days but I am talking about the kids who just won’t eat no matter what the parents do.
So what do you think? Do you think it’s important to surround your kids with healthy eaters? Would you try to keep your kids away from other kids who say everything is ‘yucky’?