Children model what they see. If they see parents eating healthy and cooking, then hopefully healthy eating becomes ingrained into their lifestyles as they grow up. My 11-year-old son witnessed my walk through food issues and illnesses. He watched me undergo the BAX allergy treatments for some of my food issues. He has undergone treatments for some of his issues as well.
He is adopted from the Philippines. When he first joined our family, he ate rice. It was a learn as we go to discover what he would and would not eat. By default, we found out he liked peanut butter. At Easter, we discovered that he looooooved hard boiled eggs. While coloring eggs, he ate 4 of them in a matter of minutes.
When you have food issues, you begin to realize you have to do a lot of your own cooking from scratch. If I want to eat with the least likelihood of reaction, I must cook my own food, pack my lunch every day for work, plan ahead for snacks, and spend weekends prepping for the week. For me, that usually includes making 4 sweet potatoes, a pot of bone broth, and this or that.
So…my son sees me in the kitchen A LOT, and my teenage daughter who does the dishes in exchange for her cell phone bill, says I make A LOT of dishes. Every now and then, he decides he wants to cook. One night, he made rice in the rice cooker for a bedtime snack. He knows bananas have potassium and help his legs after a soccer game. He helped me create a peanut butter banana muffin recipe.
He decided one afternoon to whip together a Mexican wrap of sorts. He cleaned out the fridge with everything he could find that he thought would taste good, and he made himself a healthy snack. For this Cinco de Mayo…here is a glimpse into my son’s healthy cooking creations.
A fall tradition…making homemade apple juice…
Model healthy eating and cooking…..and sometimes, they might just listen, watch, and surprise you. He even eats spinach now!