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Coaching And Nutrition: How To Help Your Kids Choose Health Over Junk

. 4 min read . Written by Vanshika Goenka
Coaching And Nutrition: How To Help Your Kids Choose Health Over Junk

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Children’s nutrition has become an important topic within the overarching umbrella of nutritional systems and well-being that is fast gaining popularity . 

Health coaching is one strategy used to facilitate health management by identifying people’s personal health goals and acquiring the knowledge, resources, and self-efficacy to achieve them. Health coaching models have incorporated motivational interviewing, emotional support, and assistance in navigating the health care system. 

From eating vegetables to choosing better snacks, use these coaching strategies to improve your child’s nutrition. 

Instead Of Making Them Eat, Help Them Choose

Teaching kids’ nutrition has to be presented in a manner that is fun for the children and acceptable to the parents. 

“How do I get my kid to eat?” we get this question a lot from frustrated parents. After all, you want to help your children practice good nutrition. Yet, you can’t make kids like their vegetables, embrace new foods, or eagerly choose healthy snacks. 

So, what can you do? Put the focus on helping your kids—not on making them. No one likes to be told what to do, including children. 

There’s an alternative that tends to work better. Help them figure out what to do for themselves. 

Ask them curious, reflective questions about their choices. Deeply listen to and consider their answers. Use their responses to guide them. 

A few rules need to be followed like – practice the behaviour you want to teach kids. Kids naturally lean toward doing whatever they see you doing. So, model the behaviour you want them to emulate. 

This framework allows you to maintain control over what foods come into the house. 

You can’t always control what they eat outside the house – they do. Do your part—and trust them to do theirs. This rule allows the children to have more responsibility in their hands. 

Lastly, Remain neutral. Neutral involves asking genuine questions, with curiosity, and being okay with your child’s response. 

Hold A Brainstorming Session. 

Ask genuine questions, with curiosity, and learn to be okay with your child’s response. 

“I‘m going to the grocery store tomorrow. What would you like to add to the list this week?”

“Hey, let’s take a look at different types of vegetables. Which ones do you think you’d be willing to try?”

This technique helps you to understand what your kids like and don’t like. 

Let them win sometimes. “It’s fine that you didn’t like what I cooked. Would you like to find something else to eat in the fridge?” 

“I’ve seen you cook on the weekends for you and your friends. If you don’t like what we’re having for dinner right now, maybe you can cook something else?” 

Sometimes, especially with teenagers and toddlers, the only way to get past resistance is to create a void. That way, they have nothing to push back against. 

Ask For Help 

“I’ve gotten to a point where I’m not as healthy as I want to be, and we’re going to make some improvements to the way we do things so I can become healthier. I want to involve you in that. 

“There are certain foods I just can’t have in the house right now. If they’re here, I’ll eat too much of them. One of them is ice cream. I’d really like to not buy it, but I know you guys love it. Could you help me solve this problem? I could really use your help.” 

This approach helps kids see the merits of a desired behaviour, as well as the downsides of not doing a desired behaviour. It works best with school-age kids who can reason out pros and cons. 

Add Something New 

“You want fries for dinner? Do you think you could add a fruit to that?”

”Mac and cheese again? I’m wondering: Could we mix something else into it? Let’s look at this chart together. What do you think would taste great when added to mac and cheese?”

New foods and experiences can be scary. This technique helps picky eaters feel safe because their favourite food is still available. 

The Responsibility Of The Family’s Healthy Eating Should Fall On The Family As A Group, Not Just The Mother

For working mothers, all of the organizational labour that goes into planning meals and ensuring they are healthy can feel overwhelming. Here are some things to keep in mind –

  1. It is important to realise that this work can be shared, and done together as a family, and that it isn’t the mom’s responsibility alone. Making meal planning a family exercise in which your partner is involved as well is important. Task division is also helpful.
  2. Don’t feel guilty about those times when healthy eating is not possible.
  3. Remember to prioritize your health too!

You’re all set to put these techniques into practice! But don’t try out too many new approaches at once. One new action is plenty! 

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