USDA’s Nutrition Policy and Promotion is trying hard to reach and empower kids with their “MyPlate, MyWins” video series that launched in May of last year.
The agency says that most kids inherently know how to eat without a parent pressuring them. They also know how to stop eating when they are full. They go on to say that actively persuading kids to eat confuses their natural self-regulation. It also complicates the parent-child dynamic, creating an unnecessary point of conflict. What? Are we overthinking this a bit too much?
Sure we have a child obesity problem and aisle after aisle of unhealthful foods, but the concept of a parent backing off trying to teach their kids what to eat just sounds wrong to me. With all the conflicting and confusing messages on our foods – on tv, embedded in online games and just about everywhere a kid is; are we just fooling ourselves, or just too lazy, to think that without parental guidance our kids will just naturally gravitate towards healthier eating?
I know, being a parent these days is a tough and busy job – but there's little that is more important than the health and well-being of our kids. So bring them to the supermarket with you. Teach them to read labels. Introduce them to the store’s dietitian, and sign them up for a kids tour, serve them tasty and healthy foods and show them by example what good eating is all about. And be a parent – and do tell them what is good and bad.
Empower them to understand that foods and beverages are our fuel – for body and mind. And junk in – junk out.