Wits & Weights | Smart Science to Build Muscle and Lose Fat

Quick Wits: Raising Kids to Eat Well (Lessons from a Dad)

June 06, 2024 Philip Pape, Evidence-Based Nutrition Coach & Fat Loss Expert
Quick Wits: Raising Kids to Eat Well (Lessons from a Dad)
Wits & Weights | Smart Science to Build Muscle and Lose Fat
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Wits & Weights | Smart Science to Build Muscle and Lose Fat
Quick Wits: Raising Kids to Eat Well (Lessons from a Dad)
Jun 06, 2024
Philip Pape, Evidence-Based Nutrition Coach & Fat Loss Expert

Today, we're diving into a topic that's near and dear to my heart (and my dinner table): raising kids to eat well. As a father of three, I've been through the food fights, the picky eating phases, and the mealtime meltdowns – and I've come out the other side with a few battle scars and a whole lot of wisdom to share.

If you're struggling to get your kids to eat their veggies or try new foods, know that you're not alone. It's a universal parenting challenge, and there's no magic formula for creating perfect little foodies overnight.

The good news is, by taking a long-term view and focusing on building healthy habits and attitudes around food, you can set your kids up for a lifetime of nutritious eating – and save yourself a whole lot of stress and frustration in the process.

So, what are some of the key lessons I've learned as a dad in the trenches of mealtime warfare? Find out on today's Quick Wits.

--

“Quick Wits” are short mini-episodes between full episodes to give you an actionable strategy or hit of motivation.

If you enjoy these bonus episodes or have feedback on how to make them better, just send me a text message.

📲 Send me a text message!

Support the Show.


🎓 Join Wits & Weights Physique University

👩‍💻 Schedule a FREE nutrition/training audit with Philip

👥 Join our Facebook community for live Q&As & support

✉️ Join the FREE email list with insider strategies and bonus content!

📱 Try MacroFactor for free with code WITSANDWEIGHTS. The only food logging app that adjusts to your metabolism!

🩷 Enjoyed this episode? Share it on social and follow/tag @witsandweights

🤩 Love the podcast? Leave a 5-star review

📞 Send a Q&A voicemail

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Today, we're diving into a topic that's near and dear to my heart (and my dinner table): raising kids to eat well. As a father of three, I've been through the food fights, the picky eating phases, and the mealtime meltdowns – and I've come out the other side with a few battle scars and a whole lot of wisdom to share.

If you're struggling to get your kids to eat their veggies or try new foods, know that you're not alone. It's a universal parenting challenge, and there's no magic formula for creating perfect little foodies overnight.

The good news is, by taking a long-term view and focusing on building healthy habits and attitudes around food, you can set your kids up for a lifetime of nutritious eating – and save yourself a whole lot of stress and frustration in the process.

So, what are some of the key lessons I've learned as a dad in the trenches of mealtime warfare? Find out on today's Quick Wits.

--

“Quick Wits” are short mini-episodes between full episodes to give you an actionable strategy or hit of motivation.

If you enjoy these bonus episodes or have feedback on how to make them better, just send me a text message.

📲 Send me a text message!

Support the Show.


🎓 Join Wits & Weights Physique University

👩‍💻 Schedule a FREE nutrition/training audit with Philip

👥 Join our Facebook community for live Q&As & support

✉️ Join the FREE email list with insider strategies and bonus content!

📱 Try MacroFactor for free with code WITSANDWEIGHTS. The only food logging app that adjusts to your metabolism!

🩷 Enjoyed this episode? Share it on social and follow/tag @witsandweights

🤩 Love the podcast? Leave a 5-star review

📞 Send a Q&A voicemail

Philip Pape:

As a dad a father of two daughters, who are now 10 and 12 as I record this episode I know firsthand the challenges of getting kids to eat right, and today, on Quick Wits, I'm going to share some of those hard-earned lessons and practical strategies for raising good eaters and fostering a positive relationship with food. Welcome to the Wits and Weights podcast. I'm your host, philip Pape, and this twice-a-week podcast is dedicated to helping you achieve physical self-mastery by getting stronger, optimizing your nutrition and upgrading your body composition. We'll uncover science-backed strategies for movement, metabolism, muscle and mindset, with a skeptical eye on the fitness industry, so you can look and feel your absolute best. Let's dive right in.

Philip Pape:

On today's Quick Wits. We are talking about a topic that's near and dear to my heart and that is raising your kids to eat eat right, eat well, whatever word you want to use and I'm a father of two girls and I give my wife a ton of credit for some of the things that we put in place when they were infants. And because of a lot of things we put in place from the beginning, we have not had to deal with food fights, picky eating, mealtime you know the big meltdowns. I mean we've had to deal with some pickiness, but it's fairly minor in relative terms, and although it can be harder the older the child is. I'm hoping that you can take away from this at least one thing that you might wanna try with your children, and I advise you not to share this advice with other parents and tell them how to parent. Please don't do that. But for your own children, there might be something that resonates with you. There's never a right or wrong when it comes to these things, but these worked for us and I wanted to share that if you found it helpful. So if you're struggling to get your kids to eat you know their vegetables, that's the big one or to try new foods, you're definitely not alone.

Philip Pape:

This is a universal parenting challenge. There's not a magic formula, just like there isn't a magic formula for you and your nutrition and your lifestyle, your fitness. It's going to depend on the individual, on the environment, all sorts of things, and you're not going to create perfect little foodies, you know who just toe the line all the time. That's not the point, you know. We know they're going to be independent. We know your children are being raised to be, you know to think for themselves. But if we can take a long-term view and focus on building these healthy habits and attitudes around food. That's where you set your kids up for this lifetime of nutritious eating.

Philip Pape:

It's kind of like with school. I don't think of school as just cramming information into your kids' brains, but rather teaching them to think for themselves and learn how to learn. And so, with food, you're going to teach them how to make those decisions as they move forward, and then save yourself a whole lot of stress and frustration throughout the process. So I'm going to tell you five lessons that I've learned. If you want to hear an entire detailed podcast about this, I'd be happy to make one, but I know not everyone is a parent, not everyone cares about this topic, so you let me know by reaching out on Instagram, at witsandweights or any of the other methods text, voicemail, et cetera, in the show notes.

Philip Pape:

So the first one, I think, is the most important one, and that is modeling the habits yourself, and this comes in a couple different ways. The first way is just, you know, practicing what you preach right. Kids are little sponges. They soak up everything they see and hear from a very young age. It's quite incredible how intelligent humans are from a very young age and they look at your attitudes, they look at your behaviors around foods.

Philip Pape:

If you want your kids to eat the way you do and again you've got to eat the way you want them to as well start by being a good role model yourself and for yourself. Right, eat a variety of, you know, nutrient dense whole foods. Try new foods. You know, don't just assume that you don't quote, unquote like something and then just forget it forever and and deprive your child of the chance to try these things. Um, you know, avoiding negative self-talk about your own eating habits at the table. But then, once you have all this in place, the easiest translation from that to your kids is to say hey, kids, you're going to eat what we eat From the time you're an infant, once you're past that breastfeeding or bottle feeding stage and you start to incorporate solid food, if I'm eating banana, you're eating banana.

Philip Pape:

If I'm eating steak, you're eating steak. If I'm eating broccoli, you're eating broccoli. And we would introduce our kids all sorts of foods, you know, avocado, and whatever fruits we were eating, whatever meats, sides, savory, sweet, it didn't matter. They would eat what we ate and we pureed it all and then we fed it to them that way and from the beginning, from the beginning, you are modeling what you want them to do and then you're not giving them really a choice when they're super young to eat anything else. It's not a restaurant. They don't get to special order, they don't get to have chicken fingers when you're actually having grilled chicken, things like that. So that leads me to the second lesson, which is you're like okay, that's great, but how do I make this a positive experience and make it this and avoid this battleground? Right? And this is where I think it's.

Philip Pape:

It's important, first of all, to not have a clean your plate policy. That is outdated. That's not going to work. We want to throw that out the window. What we want is to explore and enjoy food. We want a little bit of both. We want to be able to explore food, talk about food with our kids, even when they're babies, you know, make it fun, do the airplane, share stories, share laughter. We're not pressuring or shaming them into eating certain foods, but I think it's okay to say look, here are three different foods on your plate. Mommy, daddy, or mommy or daddy or whoever are eating these and those are your options. That's, that's all you have to eat, right, and if you don't eat it, that's it.

Philip Pape:

Now some people might say, well, that's old school, that's harsh, you're making them go hungry. No, you're not going to starve your kids. If they choose not to eat, it means they're not hungry. And if they get hungry, they're going to eat those foods. So, right there, if I lost you, if you're like, no, that's too harsh, that could be the root of the problem as to why your kid's eating chicken fingers and pizza while you're eating grilled chicken and zucchini. So making it positive, making it fun, not asking them to clean your plate, but still serving the same foods that you eat with them, can go a long way.

Philip Pape:

And that leads me to number three, which is getting your kids involved in the meal planning and the preparation, because one of the ways to get kids excited about eating what you eat is helping to plan what you buy at the grocery store to what's going to go on the menu, what they can do in the kitchen that's appropriate to their age. Right, they're probably not going to handle a butcher knife at, you know, six months old, but my kids 10 and 12, they can handle any tool. They can handle sharp knives, whatever, it doesn't matter. They can do it responsibly and they can help bake, they can cook, they can slice dice, you know, use the kitchen, whatever, and feel this sense of ownership and pride in the meals that they eat. It's not just this thing being delivered to them as if you're, you know, a server at a restaurant, because that's not what we're trying to do. We're trying to involve them.

Philip Pape:

Um, and then the the. The last two I have here are more on the mindset side. Um, so number four is being patient and persistent. Okay, so it's kind of two sides of the same coin. It takes multiple exposures to a new food before kids develop a taste for it, sometimes up to 10, 15, 20, or even 30 tries. This is, this is shown in the literature. So don't give up your if your child rejects a food the first time because you've got many, many, many times to go. And guess what? This works for adults too.

Philip Pape:

I am, with the help of my wife, trained myself to expand my palate. When I was in my mid to late 20s, I was very picky. There were a lot of foods I didn't like, and we went ahead and pureed some vegetables and we threw them in everything and I started to eat them and I was like I'm not sure I'm a big fan, but I'm going to keep trying, and I eventually trained my brain to like, I would say, 90, 95% of those foods. There's still things that I just don't like for whatever reason, genetically or otherwise. Like tomatoes, I can't stand them. That's okay, though. I've tried and I still eat them actually, and if my wife serves them I'm going to eat them. So that's being patient but also persistent is a nice recipe, pun intended.

Philip Pape:

And then the last one is focusing on the progress, right? Not, you know, perfection, ones and zeros. This is the same thing we want to do with ourselves. We don't want to be rigid. It's okay if the kids indulge in the occasional treat or they want dessert or they're not as enthusiastic about their veggies one day. You're experimenting, you're trying these things out. You're not giving in to the point where you say, okay, fine, have the chicken fingers. No, they're still going to eat what you eat and it's eventually going to work out. What matters is the overall pattern of their eating habits and then this positive, fun, you know, relationship they're building with you and with their food over time.

Philip Pape:

All right, so I might have triggered a bunch of people. I may have made some people frustrated. You might have heard this and said but I tried that and didn't work. If so, I want to hear from you. You know, don't give me a one-star review. Reach out. Reach out as a human being and say, hey, this is what I thought of your episode.

Philip Pape:

And, by the way, here's a different perspective, because maybe I'll do a whole episode on this, maybe I'll interview someone on it. Who knows? This is a journey like anything else in life right and persistence, patience, a sense of humor, staying the course. Right, you're going to get there with your kids and it's going to serve you well for years. The early years are tough, but put in that hard work and it's going to pay off. That's my opinion. You know, take it or leave it. Until next time, keep calm, you know, keep persisting while being patient. Thank you for joining me and I'll see you next time. Thank you for tuning in to another episode of wits and weights. If you found value in today's episode and know someone else who's looking to level up their wits or weights, please take a moment to share this episode with them and make sure to hit the follow button in your podcast platform right now to catch the next episode. Until then, stay strong.

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