I just read an interesting little article in the NY Times about children’s diet. The article describes the woes parents face when trying to coax their kids to eat a healthy, balanced diet. It also outlined some mistakes commonly made by parents in their endeavour – here are a few quotes:
“Demanding that a child eat at least one bite of everything seems reasonable, but it’s likely to backfire. Studies show that children react negatively when parents pressure them to eat foods, even if the pressure offers a reward.“
“Parents worry that children will binge on treats, so they often put them out of sight or on a high shelf. But a large body of research shows that if a parent restricts a food, children just want it more.”
“The researchers found that restricting the cookies had a profound effect: consumption more than tripled compared with when the cookies were served on plates. Other studies show that children whose food is highly restricted at home are far more likely to binge when they have access to forbidden foods.”
Who knew that one reason kids don’t eat the things grown-ups want them to is due to the same theological principle that we now understand as The Law?
As a side note: when I visited my family in Hong Kong, I personally witnessed my cousin’s two-year-old eat chicken’s feet, spinach, and pretty much everything else that we put on his plate. It was pretty incredible.