FIRST. Your. Child. Will. Not. Starve.
Please, please, please show me a case study, research or a personal story where a perfectly healthy (repeat: HEALTHY) child sat at the dinner table, in complete protest against eating unprocessed foods, and, literally starved to death. You can’t? I didn’t think so… Children will not let themselves starve. I do not care how much they love and live off chicken nuggets and french fries only. Throw a hungry human being into a pack of other hungry human beings and nature will kick in… those “chicken nugget only eaters” will fight over a piece of raw broccoli! I guarantee it.
I often spend so much time catering to young moms that are trying to make better choices for their Littles, that people often forget that I do have an almost 21 year old son! When we made the decision… errrrrrr… when I made the decision (because no one else was on board!) to change our diet 6 years ago, my oldest son was 14. You think you have it tough trying to convert a squealing toddler to eating only unprocessed foods? Take that adorable little toddler, add 100 pounds, 4 more feet, a much louder voice and throw in some “teenage logic”… That is what I was working with!
At one point, that teenager summoned his grandmother (my mother-in-law) to have an intervention, because I was “starving” him. Yup, there’s that word… starve. Someone call Child Protective Services (which, ironically, is where I worked, as an investigator, prior to staying home with my Littles),… I was S.T.A.R.V.I.N.G. my child. So… my well-meaning mother-in-law, sat us all down and made us listen to my teenagers “logical” points of why he needed grains, why he should be allowed peanut butter, why he needed donuts and ice cream and yada-yada-yada. Guess who won that conversation? #primalmom
So how do I do it? How do I get my children to eat this way? I just do it! They don’t have a choice in the matter. I am the parent and I am in control of their diet. It is my job… no, it is my responsibility… to ensure I am giving my Littles and my Teenager the best possible diet. Do I have to deal with fits? Of course! They eventually become less and less and quieter and quieter… The key, for me, is to not keep [insert cringe-worthy “food”] in the house. If my Little wants to throw a fit over a snack, it is between grapes and oranges, pistachios or almond butter. They wouldn’t know what it is like to open our pantry and make a decision over whether to eat ding-dongs or donuts (or are those the same thing? I cannot even remember). They have no clue what apple juice and grape juice are. Their options are water, coconut water or coconut milk in our house.
YOU JUST DO IT! You just wake up one morning, just like I did, and throw everything boxed, packaged, processed, labeled, canned and toxic item in the garbage and never bring those things back into your house. That is it. That is my secret! Be prepared for tantrums… and stay the course.
Your child will not starve.