The Fine Art of Reconditioning A Young Child to Eat Healthier!
When my 6 year old step daughter moved in with me around 4 months ago her diet consisted of mostly soda, coffee, potato chips, candy, chocolate and fast food! She barely drank any water and she did not eat any vegetables. She would eat an occasional carrot or cucumber slices, but the cucumber slices had to be heavily salted. In fact, before she moved in with me her grandmother sent her to summer camp with a tiny salt shaker in her lunch box! She would not eat anything without extra salt being dumped on her food! Her diet was absolutely horrifying! It was especially horrifying for me to watch this little girl poison herself over and over again! I knew that something had to be done to change this!
So when my step daughter finally moved in with me the first thing her father and I did was remove all soda from her diet! Then we had to try to force her to drink water! She was never thirsty! Her father allowed her to have a decaf iced coffee here and there for a little while. And then finally one day all coffee was removed from her diet! We created a no candy rule, which had already existed before she moved in, but now it was official! So I purchased some special sugar free tooth brushing lolly pops called "Zolli Pops" to replace all the toxic sugary candy she had been eating. It worked! The Zolli pops were a success! She loves them! My step daughter also eats fruit instead of candy... but only small amounts of fruit at a time! Too much fruit sugar can be just as harmful if not more so harmful then processed refined sugars!
In the beginning, my step daughter was always asking for burgers, chicken fingers/ nuggets and french fries from fast food places like McDonalds and Carls Junior. Her father allowed this for a little while. Then he attempted to replace the fast food with slightly healthier supermarket processed fast food. Her father purchased chicken nuggets, chicken fingers, burgers and fries from the grocery store. This plan didn't work out so well... My step daughter did not like the grocery store meat and poultry as much as she liked the meat and poultry from places like McDonalds. She did however eat the fries!
So much grocery store food was wasted that her father finally decided not to buy anymore meat or poultry from the grocery store for our daughter to eat. He recently started to buy a little bit of meat/ poultry here and there but he is very careful now not to buy too much! Fast food meat has almost been eliminated, but our daughter is still eating a burger every so often, orange chicken (I call them orange sugar balls) from Panda Express and meat tacos from Del taco. Now, I knew that my step daughter needed more protein so I tried to get her to eat healthier organic chicken and steak prepared by a wonderful grocery store called Erewhon. However, the healthier chicken and steak that I was purchasing for her was getting wasted as well! She would eat very small amounts of the meat/ poultry, but gobble down the rice that I purchased along with the meat/ poultry. The main food my step daughter appears to crave is carbohydrates.... French fries, rice, bread and potato chips! So I limited the amount of healthy meat/ poultry I would buy for her since I knew it would go to waste anyway.
But that still left the protein issue... I've been able to get my step daughter to eat eggs every so often. Maybe once or twice a week... I get some really great pasture raised organic eggs from my neighborhood farmers market. At first my step daughter was eating hard boiled eggs with bread. Then eggs over medium and now finally she loves scrambled eggs! She really loves preparing them for herself (with my supervision ofcourse). I will add a little bit of seat salt or himalayan pink salt to her eggs (never iodized salt), but I never allow my step daughter to administer the salt herself! Her salt intake has decreased dramatically since she moved in with us... She actually recently complained that something she ate was too salty which was a great sign! But back to the eggs... she doesn't eat eggs everyday so we still had to figure out a way to get some more protein into her. FYI I believe that the carbohydrate (sugar) cravings are really protein cravings...
So in an effort to get our daughter to eat more protein, her father decided to purchase a chocolate milk protein drink for our daughter to drink. She loves chocolate! And while I won't let her eat much chocolate because it gets her crazy, the chocolate milk protein drink (with no added sugar!) by "Core Power" seems to be a success! Our picky daughter likes it and she's getting the protein that she needs without eating toxic fast food animal protein! It's a win!
There was still the potato chip issue.... and her father was continuing to buy potato chips! So I decided to purchase healthy crackers in an attempt to replace the potato chips. I purchased a really good brand of almond crackers by "Simple Mills." (They also make excellent healthy cookies!) The ingredients in these crackers are very good! First I allowed my step daughter to try the seat salt crackers. She loved them! Then I got her the cheddar cheese crackers! Even better! She liked the crackers a lot and was willing to eat the crackers instead of eating potato chips! Awesome! Another win!
Now, my step daughter still won't eat vegetables... And I've made quite a few attempts to get her to eat vegetables that didn't work out so well! I also tried to add green/ blue powders like E3 Live and Spirulina to her freshly squeezed orange juice... but she wasn't going for that either! I got her to drink the E3 Live once or twice which is better that nothing... But I had to come up with a new and better plan! I realized that when at home her father wasn't helping me much with the vegetable issue. Our daughter would beg her father not to have to eat the vegetables which we both agreed that she had to eat. I wasn't going for it but her father would finally cave in and allow her to skip the vegetables altogether... at which point her father and I were not on the same page anymore... which was upsetting to me! However, I pick our daughter up from school everyday... and during that time her father is not around! I figured that would be a good time to work my magic and get our daughter to do some things that she wouldn't normally do...
So my step daughter is always begging for Taco Bell Nacho fries and sometimes she's begging for Del Taco meat tacos... So I made a deal with her! If she drinks a green drink she can have her requested fast food...twice a week maximum! So you know what happened? Ha Ha! Twice now my 6 year old step daughter drank green drinks (for the first time ever in her life)! Freshly juiced apples, cucumber, celery, spinach, dandelion, romaine, parsley, etc... It worked! She actually likes the green drinks and is willing to continue drinking them (in exchange for garbage foods... Hey it's a start)! This was a very exciting win for me considering that this child was afraid to drink anything green for the longest time!
Finally, I purchased a kid's multi vitamin gummy by Mega Foods. It contains the correct natural form of B12 methylcobalamin! But the folate is in the form of synthetic folic acid! I thought it was folate at first but turns out it's folic acid... Oh well! It's a start! At least my step daughter is now getting some vitamins and minerals in her! And yes, she does love the gummies! They do contain some sugar... but hey...we've made tremendous progress so far so a little bit of sugar is not a big deal! So that's the story! It hasn't been an easy transition and we still have a long way to go... but the way I see it... It only gets better from here! Yes, it is possible to change a young child's diet to a healthier one! It does takes time... but patience is a virtue!
UPDATE! More Excellent News! After publishing this article I managed to get my step daughter to eat spinach blended with alfredo sauce with her pasta! I was able to get her to drink blue orange juice without cringing (that's orange juice with E3 Live blue green algae added to it) and I've managed to add Irish Sea moss to her orange juice several times without a problem! She has also continued to drink her green drinks! Pretty soon I will be experimenting with broccoli blended in her pasta sauce! She said she is willing to try it and she hates broccoli! Miracles!
Jennie H is a Reiki Master Energy Healer, Co-Founder of Self Saviorz Society California Non-Profit 501(c)(3), Poet, Author and Entertainer with goals to help raise the vibration and consciousness of humanity!