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If You Give A Kid Healthy Food He Will Eat It... Right?

Posted Mar 21 2012 12:00pm
Seems like every week, there are new "kid oriented" food standards being introduced by the Government.  So while the concept of eating better is good, sinply making new rules doesn't do much for making anything happen, except that the Government Adminstrators and Players get to pat themselves on the back.

Simple fact - if people don't like it they won't eat it.  And what you like, I might hate!  Sure, my parents cooked healthy meals and tried to get me to "eat all my vegetables" but I didn't... cause there were some things I simply didn't like and eating them would make me gag.  Thankfully, I didn't get sent to bed without dessert cause I didn't eat all the veggies on my plate, as that would have made me hate them all the worse.  But in the grand scheme of things, we must be careful, creative and even a bit tricky when trying to get kids to eat right.  And sometimes, despite our best efforts, its not going to happen and here's why.

Beside that fact that all taste buds are not created equal, there are other things that can make different foods repulsive for different people.  In my case, I am very sensitive to how something "feels" in my mouth.  Mushrooms for example can make me gag.  Thus I can't eat them and it has nothing to do with taste.  Smell can be a real killer as well, and I am one who has a very powerful nose. I think its because I have such bad vision, that my sense of feel and smell are so strong.  And in many cases, just ugly looking food is enough to make someone dump it in the nearest trash receptacle.
So my point is that if we want to make our kids eat better, then we need to craft an approach to make healthy food more appealing, rather than just taking away the bad stuff and slopping on the good.  As a kid, the few times I got stuck with a "healthy" school lunch, I chose not to eat...  of course, that potentially can lead to weight loss, but starving our children is not a great way to fight childhood obesity.
At the end of the day, the key to weight management is personal responsibility, not the Government stepping in with a bunch of rules and regulations to modify behavior, when food choice is as much taste, smell, feel and look as it is anything else.  Adults and kids alike need to learn (from an early age) that they are responsible for their lives and only they can make the best choices for the best outcomes.  Nothing wrong with our Government forcing restaurants, food producers and manufacturers to post calorie levels and food ingredients, as that helps us to make choices, but I have major concerns when they start deciding what is best for us to eat to the point it gets too restrictive.  Instead teach people how to count calories and understand how much energy/activity is required to counterbalance against food intake.
I had to learn all of this on my own in order to shed 70 unwanted and unneeded pounds.  Would have been nice to have had some really good education on the subject, presented in a clear, conscise and fun manner, so I could have maybe avoided those pounds in the first place.  Instead I got trays full of horrible, unappealing foods in the elementary cafeteria line and lectures about the basic food groups...
Ok, done with my soap box... for now.


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