We spoke to Dr Brett Hill author of Nourish Without Nagging. Dr Hill is a chiropractor, co-host of Australia’s #1 health podcast show The Wellness Guys and author of How To Eat An Elephant.
Getting kids is must be a challenge for all parents?
I think it’s a challenge for every parent. No household is perfect. No child is perfect and no parent is perfect. Every parent has something that they would love to have their kids eating that they can’t get them to eat.
What are some of the reasons children refuse to try a food?
To a large degree it’s quite normal. It’s an experimental phase for kids. Leaning about their environment and about themselves. Try different things at different times and think about who they are, what they like and what their preferences are. Kids are developing their own personalities and are influenced their peers, society, media, and advertising. There is a lot of pressure around what you should or shouldn’t be eating.
Kids are interested in what tastes good, and they also look to you as a role model. They pay attention to what parents are eating, and what siblings are eating. If they are told this is broccoli you might not like it but you should try it, kids already have an expectation that it won’t be nice. Try telling them from the start this is something you will love. Some kids do struggle with textures and tastes so keep that in mind.
Why do children suddenly turn up their noses at foods they have previously eaten without issue?
If I knew the answer to that I would be rich. There isn’t any one answer. It’s all about learning and discovery. Learning about their power and that they can make choices. Realising what they can and can’t do and asserting themselves. Kids tastes also change over time. You need to be patient so it’s worthwhile to keep trying.
In your book ‘Nourish Without Nagging’ you address how to get kids to eat without nagging. What is your top tip for getting a fussy eater to try something new?
There are ten tips in the book. There isn’t one strategy that works for everyone. You need to keep tinkering and be curious about your kids. What motivates them? It can change from day to day but try different methods. Eventually something will click.
If you use the strategies in the book they help to make it like teamwork and help you to work together and towards a common goal. It can feel like the same old argument day after day. Make it teamwork and show them why they would love to do it and help them see the benefits. Help them teach them why they would love to do it. Helping them to find the motivation, which is so much nicer than fighting all the time to get them to eat healthy.
The Nourish Without Nagging eBook can be downloaded on iTunes and Amazon and can also be purchased from www.drbretthill.com/shop for just $9.95 AUD as an instantly downloadable eBook.