Updated: May 13
Healthy LifeStyle Implementation
Would You believe me if I say Someone can do almost anything for You, if You set Your Mind to it? I guess we need to try that out, to prove that bold Statement right or wrong, don't we? To prove me right or wrong.
What I am implying is, we need to respect the certain Rules of Behaviour, to get what we want. By no means, we can not get it, if the other Person decides, He or She will not do it. We can not pass the Person's free Will. It is not our Intention here.
The iEat Book will get into a bit more detailed Approach how to act, nevertheless here we will unveil some of the Key Points You need to know.
It is not the Pressure that gets You what You want..
Today we will only address the Child's Behavioural Processes. They comply with the Adult ones, nevertheless we will address the Mechanics behind what we want in a Grown up World in a separate Article.
Today we will address the Parent's everlasting Problem of introducing Healthy Food to their Children. How can they do it? Where do they start? What do they need to keep in Mind?
Therefore, dear Parents where do we start?
1. SIMPLICITY is the Key Keep it Simple
Just put it on the Table, and start eating it. Yes, You need to eat it, in order to trigger the Interest. I know, not so good News for the start, I guess..
Enjoy while doing it. Children tend to know what is going on around them, and they are keen to impersonate, and copy whatever You are doing (You might be surprised after a while, You are hearing that strangely familiar Noise when they are eating, discovering it is a Noise, You usually make, while You are eating).
A Child’s GAG Reflex is His natural Ability not to swallow Chunks of Food. They instinctively throw out anything too big or not good for their Bodies. When You steam, and mix the Food, they will not learn how to chew as quick, as if You give them the whole Chunks of Food first.
How did the Nature plan it? To steam and mix it? Do You still think so? I doubt it. Back then, in “the old Days” of Stone Age, when the Child was ready, he just put the Piece of Food into His Mouth, and chewed it.
2. Lead by EXAMPLE, and be a ROLE MODEL Teach by Example
They need to see You eat it. Yes, unfortunately You will need to try to eat that Broccoli eventually. As mentioned above.
As You put Food on the Table, always prepare it for Yourself too. You should be eating with them, the same Things, as they do. They will follow every Move You will make, trust me. You need to set an Example how it’s done.
3. FOCUS Focus on them
As You put Food on the Table, take the next 10 Minutes, to focus only on Your Child.
Talk with Him as You eat Your Food. Show Him You see, and hear Him. Ask Him something, You want to know. Show Him, You acknowledge Him.
Tell Him You are extremely proud of Him, for being so conscious, and eating the best Things on this Planet. This goes Hand in Hand with the last Tip, where You praise every Move they make.
Trust me.. they feel the Words. They understand the meaning behind them. The meaning of them. Every one of them.
And then the Magic starts happening..
Whenever You want to reach to them, tell them something.. Use their Name. Call them by their Name. Praise them, using their Name. Say it with an authentic Feeling of Appreciation and Admiration. Acknowledge only the Things You like, and at this Point, IGNORE the things You don’t.
This is how You connect them, with their Essence. This is how You connect with them. By using their Name, and telling them something good about them, with the best possible Awareness and Feeling. This is how they will start to really feel, what You are saying.
They will instinctively start to search for the Feelings, You are triggering in their Neurochemical Pathways in their Brain. As their Brain gets the Infusion of Serotonin and Dopamine Hormones, so called the Hormones of Happiness and Ecstasy, the Children will start to continuously search for that Reward. To get it again, and again.
They will start to bond with You on another Level, nevertheless You are the one, who makes them feel.. “somehow good, indescribable, fine and well”. Who wouldn’t search for that repeatedly, tell me?
As You are starting to bond with them, they will start acknowledging You in other, not so pleasant Situations, where You will need to say: “Stop with this. This is not good. You are not doing this the right Way, dear Enya. Don’t disappoint me, please. I trust in You, don’t forget that. I trust, You will make this the right Way. Please, stop with this.” Whatever that is.
With their simple Brain Structure in their early Ages, they are like Pets.. The Pet comes after the Reward. It does those Things, that will get Him the Reward.
Don’t get me wrong. The comparison is quite triggering and perhaps a bit funny, nevertheless.. the Child’s Brain at this Stage, works exactly like that.. “Praise me, notice me, give me something good, show me Affection and Appreciation, and I will do anything for You.”
I am WHO You SEE I am. “I BECOME” the Person You are telling me “I AM”.
I am a Reflection of Your Words and Thoughts about Me.
Remember.. If You tell Someone He is trustworthy, and You repeat it on daily Basis, He will want to justify He is truly worth of Trust. Eventually everyone would want to do that with Time.
The Mental Process in His Head, could sound like this: “Everyone thinks, and says I am trustworthy. Hmm.. I might as well do this in a Way, to show them, I truly am.” It is that simple.
I am not saying, You should not stay consistent with explaining them, what is right, and wrong in Life. The Point is, You can come there with much less Tension, Force, Clashes and Disconnection.
Try it. You will see the Magic.
4. CONSISTENCY Repeat Multiple Times, and stay Consistent
If You always put Food on the Table, not run around after them, and give them the Freedom to decide, when they are ready to come, they will eventually see, where all the Magic is happening.
The Family is at the Table (nevertheless, it could be just You, and Your Child), quiet Music is playing at the back, You are starting to ask Him, how is He feeling, and letting Him know, He has all Your Attention.
They will start to like it. They will get all of Your Attention, the caring and the Food. What more is there?
“Let’s make a Pony Tail Enya.”
If You always say it 5 Times, where is the use, in listening the first 4?
Whenever You want to achieve anything with Your Child, keep in Mind, they will try to search for Your Limits. Nevertheless, how old they are.
Let’s say, I want a 3 Year old Enya come to me, to make her a Pony Tail.
I would start with a proposal: “Sweet Lady Enya, I suggest we make a Pony Tail. You look so beautiful every Time we make it. Would You like to have it?” Her: “Yes Mommy, I’d like to have it.” Me: “Very good, Enya. Let’s make it then. Can You come to me, please?”
Then, the important Phase comes along – waiting Time.
I wait. I give Her Time, to process what I have just asked Her. How long am I waiting? Let’s say I observe Her. If I see, She just continues with something, She was doing before, and looks like She just forgot, what I have asked Her, I repeat it: “Sweet Lady Enya.. Dear.. If You want to look beautiful, and want to have a Pony Tail, You need to come to me. I am waiting for You. Please come.”
And I wait again. Yes, Patience is the Mother of God.
I am not saying You can do it every Time, especially in the Mornings, when You have a limited Time frame, and there are not so many Chances for You to be calm, consistent and patient. Sometimes, it just doesn’t go through. And it is completely normal.
Nevertheless, the main Idea behind the Pony Tail Story is.. Whenever You have Time, whenever You remember, try to take a few more Minutes, to get what You want from Your Child.
You are teaching Him, that whatever You say, means something. Your Words have a Meaning. You mean what You say. You usually say it once, sometimes two times. Of course, You also give them Time, to process it.
Imagine that someone would say something to You, and expect You to do it immediately. Every Time. Would You always be able, and in the Mood, to do it right away? I would guess not.
On the other Hand, if You are requesting something from Your Child, and repeating it after a few Seconds He doesn’t do it, You are letting Him think, what You have said the first Time, doesn’t even count, since You have repeated it right away. The Thoughts in His Mind could be like: “Why would I bother to do it the first Time, Dad will say it a few Times, and then I can do it. I’ll just continue to play.”
As far, as the Pony Tail Story goes..
If She doesn’t come to me, to make Her a Pony Tail, at the end, I tell Her something like this: “Enya, I understand You don’t want to have a Pony Tail. Alright then. We will not make it, if You do not want it.” Simple as that.
Sometimes after that, it happens that She jumps into my Hands, and says: “Mommy, Mommy, let’s make it please!” and if She doesn’t.. Who cares. One Pony Tail will not change the World.
It is important to mention, everything Safety related, doesn’t fall into this Category. When they hold a Knife in their Hands for example, there is not a Time frame or anything else, where You act. You act immediately, and instinctively. There is not any Room for Discussion, at that exact Point, in the middle of dangerous Situation.
Nevertheless, You need to take Time, after this has happened, to kneel to Your Child, get Physically on His Level, to look Him into His Eyes, and gently explain to Him, why this is not safe.
Base Line.. get them used Your Word means something. Not by raising Your Voice, but by improving Your Arguments. Yes, even if You’re talking to a 2 Year old.
5. DON'T WORRY
They will not die of Hunger
Do not push or force them with anything. Their Nature will not let them die of Hunger, if the Food is around.
An obvious Fact, that needs to be mentioned is, all kinds of Milk Chocolate Bars, Cookies with Cane Sugar, and other Treats need to be out of Sight. If not so, You will have a little one, who will never eat at the Table, because He will know, there is something very good tasting out there, waiting for Him to grab, and get it.
Have You ever seen a very persistent Mommy, that runs behind Her Child with a Spoon in Her Hands, trying to feed Him? I have to admit, it looks kind of funny.
Nevertheless, I understand the poor Mommy, trying to do the best She can, to feed Her Child. It is an overwhelming Feeling, if Your Child does not want to eat. Not to mention, we are nowhere near healthy Food Options.
This is way too much Effort, for too little Outcome. We will learn to do it in a completely different Way. With less Effort. With Efficiency. Without forcing or pushing. With Grace, and Kindness. Trust me, it can be done. We just need Time, and a pinch of Patience.
6. PLAY and don't PUSH IT Make it Fun, and don't push it
Do not run behind them, to put something into their Mouth (read the lines above).
Sit at the Table, put on some good Music, and keep the good Vibes on.
If it does not go through in the first 10 Minutes of Food being on the Table, they are not hungry enough.
Do not force or push anything – the Food is on the Table, You are there eating it, and enjoying in it, and they can join, whenever They feel to join. Give them Space, and Freedom to decide, when they are ready.
7. GOOD VIBES Rule The Last Feeling Rule
Whatever You do, do not finish with them, crying over something, they did not want to eat, at the Table.
They need to feel, this was a good Experience, nevertheless short and by Your Opinion, perhaps even a waste of Time, as: “They did not eat almost anything at tall. Just one little Bite.”
Trust me, You will do more with a few short, and simple last good Feelings, than one forceful Fight, where You will be insisting on something You decided, they need to eat or do.
Cook with them. Start with preparation of simple Mixtures. There is no need for long, boring, complicated Dish cooking. Let them watch You do it. Sooner or later, they will want to do it too. Make it fun, and simple.
If they will be a Part of the Preparation Process, they will want to taste it at some Point. Trust me.
8. Make SMART CHOICES Bitter before Sweet
Never start with Fruit or sweet Vegetables. If You truly start in early Ages, they do not know that Celery is actually not so good.
Their Taste Buds are extremely sensitive. If You feed them with overload of sweet Things, their Taste Buds become insensitive. The more sweetness they ingest, the more they need, to Taste the Feeling. The vicious Cycle has started.
9. ONLY HEALTHY OPTIONS to choose from
We will discuss it further, and in greater Detail in the following Articles, and in
Hide all the Sweets, You might have in the House. This will be in relation to the Children, older than 2 Years old or older. The 1 Year old Baby cannot crawl into the upper Closet of Your Kitchen, open the cabinet Doors, and take the Sweets out, of course.
10. YOUR APPROVAL and EMPATHY will make Magic Praise every Move They make
They live to be noticed, and acknowledged by You. In their early Age Stages (somewhere up until the Puberty) they see You as their God. You are their World.
Make sure You tell them, how proud You are. Do that on regular Basis.
They will immediately connect the Praise, and Your Approval at the Table, with the Healthy Food they will ingest, if You will be doing it, while they eat.
As You talk to them at the Table, keep in Mind to show them, You feel and emphasize with them in different Life Situations. Listen to them. The Bond between You, and them will get stronger. The stronger the Bond will be, more You can achieve with them.
So, dear reader of mine.. That would be it.
We will discuss it further, and in greater Detail in the following Articles and in The iEat Book, but let's just absorb it first..
Have loads of fun implementing, and playing with this.
Angelina A. Rinaldi High Performance Coach Holistic Health Practices
National Academy of Sports Medicine NASM Fitness Nutrition Specialist, and Certified Personal Trainer
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