How to get your son to eat healthy food

When my son was a baby, he would eat anything I gave him, and lots of it. He once ate so much sweet potato, carrot and pumpkin mash that his skin turned orange (matching the contents of his nappy).

As the firstborn, sweet treats were never on his radar. Apples and natural yogurt were used as bribes in the toddler years, and successfully too. I felt like I was winning at this parenting malarkey…

Then kinder came around, with its birthday parties and playdates. My son earned the nickname ‘cake eyes’ – he was renowned for plundering plates for abandoned crumbs as everyone else went off to play.

He started to get fussy and ask for ‘treats’ if he ate his veggies. And he didn’t mean apples anymore.

Next came school, where kids compared lunchboxes, sparking questions such as: “Why does Jack have biscuits every day?” and “Why can’t I have a blue slushie…?” My ‘20 teaspoons of sugar’ lectures were met with eye rolls. My son and I also started to butt heads over questionable canteen fodder.

Luckily, at age 7, my son is currently in a ‘healthy food will make me strong’ phase. For now, the mantle of ‘cake eyes’ has been passed down to his younger brother.

But I’ve noticed that getting kids to eat well is as regular a topic of conversation at school pick-up as it was at mums’ group meet-ups. And it can cause just as much anguish. So this article, with its (rather scary) stats and simple tips is worth a look, especially if, like me, you occasionally use sugar as a form of currency…

Brought to you by Brighton Grammar School

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