I get lots of questions on my YouTube channel, but one of the most common is about how to motivate parents to feed their children better.
So I thought I’d share my answer with you today since it’s such an important topic for the health of not only families, but societies and cultures worldwide, where junk food has become the normal diet of children, often because parents feel they are saving time or money on food.
Here’s where I always start – identify the dream.
When suggesting improvements in diet, always ground your suggestion in how it helps the child more efficiently experience their dream.
If for example, a child is obese, then teaching his parents about foods that will help him slim down as a means of experiencing his dream gives parents a clear logic and an emotional motivation to support their child.
The key, again, is to emphasize the dream.
It’s also important to support the dream with solid research and resources.
Organizations like the Weston A. Price Foundation and the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation www.westonaprice.org and PPNF.org have a massive amount of information to support all such needs, as does the British Soil Association, particularly for organic and commercial food nutrient value comparisons.
A good online starter resource will be the Child Obesity Project – it’s a free online summit I’m participating in that launches on Oct 12. I’ll be presenting on my 4-Doctors Model to Children’s Wellness, but there will be lots of great presentations by experts in the health and wellness field on topics like food intolerances, diabetes and fostering lifelong healthy eating habits.
If you want to check it out, you can register for free,
Additionally, giving the parents and children simple self-monitoring methods, such as the poopie policeman and poopie line-up in my book, How To Eat, Move and Be Healthy!, and a number of the other charts and diagrams in that book, makes it much easier for child and parent to see the results. Even small changes toward a healthier diet typically provide objective evidence of improvement when the child and parent know what to look for.
Changes don’t have to be monumental to be powerful.
The thought of changing one’s lifestyle can often seem like a huge burden to both parent and child – especially if you start thinking about all the changes that need to be made.
But here’s the thing, they don’t need to be made all at once!
You can produce impactful, transformative changes with small steps.
In fact, I never recommend more than three points of change at any one time otherwise they get too burdensome. There’s nothing more demoralizing than getting loaded up with a bunch of goals that completely change your entire lifestyle and then struggling (and failing) to achieve them. That’s frustrating for everyone in the family.
If you’re trying to convince a parent to make some changes, I suggest beginning with these three:
- Drink half your body weight (measured in pounds) in ounces of water every day
- Eat organic, whole foods
- Remove one of the following four ingredients from your diet: table salt, processed sugar, processed wheat or pasteurized dairy products.
Notice I haven’t said anything really specific about nutrition yet.
Despite that, those three simple changes will yield massive rewards in terms of energy, better digestion, reduced stress, and yes, weight loss.
If #3 proves a little hard to begin with, they’ll get a lot of mileage out of just eating their family meals together, slowly and without the distractions of TV’s, video games, phones or even reading materials.
Convince parents to make those changes into habits, and they can move on to the next, more complicated steps like identifying their primal pattern® diet type and eliminating more of the “four white devils” (processed salt, sugar, wheat and dairy.)
Just remember, small steps, big changes.
Lastly, do a little myth busting.
One of the biggest reasons that so many parents continue to feed their children SAD CRAP is because they think they are saving money on food. This is the most dangerous illusion and trap you can imagine. No one who eats that diet is saving money. At all… Period… On the contrary, they’ll be spending much more in medical expenses, and all the other related costs like time lost from work and school.
It’s exactly as that old saying reminds us: “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Especially when the cure isn’t really a cure at all.
That’s it! In a nutshell, if you want to convince parents to feed their children a more healthy diet:
- Identify their child’s dream for emotional connection
- Provide resources that empower them to make changes
- Show them that small, simple changes can be impactful without being overly disruptive
- Bust the myth that the SAD CRAP diet saves them money or time
Put them all together and I think you’ve got a successful formula for change!