Putting the Kitchen Police Behind Bars; Why nagging in the kitchen could really mess things up

We remember it as children and now we do it to our own kids.

“You have to clean your plate”

“Eat your broccoli, otherwise NO dessert!”

“No more junk food!”

Parents are policing the kitchen, and it isn’t for better or worse. The only thing this could be a recipe for is disaster!

The second one is told not to do something, the desire to do just that thing ignites. Rebellion, in any form, could really hurt someone and the effects are showing up in people’s health. Studies have shown that teens who were told to stay away from junk food developed such an allure for it that this warning really backfired. It doesn’t always turn out this way, but scientists believe the more policing around the issue, the more likely it is to back fire. We suggest steering your kids away from processed and over sugary foods, but not hounding them about it. Parents need to provide the tools and knowledge to their children and let them practice the skill set of being healthy and not scrutinize or micromanage them in the kitchen.

Another kitchen crisis that could be affecting people and their appetites is the pressure of ‘clearing their plate.’ Being told to lick the dinner plate clean may have ensured that veggies were eaten, but it also said ‘ignore signals from your stomach and keep eating!’ It is important to eat slowly and stop eating when one is full, but it is no surprise that that signal got screwed up when the end of dinner meant a clean plate, rather than a full stomach.  Listen to what your body is telling you, and also keep that in mind if you are cooking for others. The best lesson you could instill would be to stop eating when you are full, not just when your plates been emptied. If you are concerned about someone eating the healthy parts of their meal, start serving smaller portions of each. If your child is still hungry, they can enjoy another small serving of whatever’s for dinner, but they will learn to eat whats on the plate but to also stop when they are full.

If you are cooking for picky eaters, get everyone involved in creating the dinner menus. Get creative with recipes and allow others to chose which healthy foods they’d like to have for dinner.

Getting everyone to eat well and eat what is for dinner is easier said than done, we know. But too much pressure and policing could take a turn for the worst and set the stage for health issues in the future.




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