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Japanese children love fish, veggies, and tofu. Indian children adore spicy lentils, okra, and pickled mango. Brazilian kiddos dive into stewed rice and beans with meat and veggies. So why do so many American children insist on a “white diet” of pasta, fries, and chicken nuggets?
They learn their habits from us. Even before birth, parents have a major impact on their children’s food preferences.
Mom and Dad’s healthy eating is the fundamental contributor to our children’s healthy eating. But if you lived on drive-thru during your pregnancy (as I did during my first), there’s still hope for boosting the nutritional habits of the whole family. Our children naturally try, and even love, healthy, new foods when it’s an expected part of family life. Will they still ask for mac and cheese? Sure. Is it still OK to give them their faves once in a while? Of course. Might they skip an occasional meal while they test your resolve in serving healthier fare? Perhaps. But this is a test worth passing.