What to do when your child refuses to eat

Learn about: What to do when your child refuses to eat from Tana Amen, BSN, RN,...
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What to do when your child refuses to eat

What to do if your children don't want to eat the healthy, nutritious food that you've cooked. This is a little bit of a touchy subject. I get a little push back sometimes from the people that I coach. As an ICU nurse, you can give me a little bit of push back. I am okay if my daughter chooses not to eat something. The last time I checked, it takes about thirty days for people to starve to death, including children. I know that sounds harsh, but I provide a lot of nutritious meals in my house. I have child approved shelves. She can eat and choose whatever foods she wants. I don't restrict food in my house. You're going to have to decide which rules you are going to enforce in your house. I cook meals, and if my daughter chooses not to eat them, that's fine with me. I don't go and make a special meal for her. It's okay if she chooses not to eat. You have to get used to the idea that your children may choose not to. I will let her go make something herself because I know that everything in my house is healthy. The other thing that I do is make mealtimes fun. I got her involved young. I make it fun and we make it a game. She cooks meals with me, and it's a fun thing in our house. I try not to create issues around food because you can create eating disorders. I try and not create issues around food. I don't use it as punishment and I don't use food as rewards. It's okay if she misses a meal. She knows it's a safe place to make her choices. The other thing I don't do is I don't force her. We can't be with our children 24 hours a day, seven days a week. She will make her own choices and sometimes they are not perfect choices. I'm okay with that. By educating her about what food does to her body and if she makes a poor choice, I let her pay the consequences. The best thing you can do for your child is to let her pay the consequences.

Learn about: What to do when your child refuses to eat from Tana Amen, BSN, RN,...


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Tana Amen, BSN, RN

Nutrition & Lifestyle Expert

Tana Amen is affectionately known as “The Brain Doctor’s Wife.” Working alongside her husband, award-winning physician and New York Times best-selling author Daniel Amen, Tana is a highly respected health and fitness expert, who graduated magna cum laude from Loma Linda University’s nursing program.  After school Tana spent years working at Loma Linda’s in their level A trauma unit as a neurosurgical intensive care nurse, taking care of some of the sickest patients in the hospital.  There she learned firsthand the value of diet and nutrition on brain health. Tana is the author of 4 highly successful books, including three brain healthy cookbooks and a coaching guide. Tana is one of the main consultants to The Daniel Plan, Pastor Rick Warren and Saddleback Churches’ Plan to get the world healthy through religious organizations. After the first year the church lost 250,000 pounds, but weight loss was only one of the stunning side effects of getting truly healthy.  Other common effects of The Daniel Plan were increased energy, better focus and mood, and a reduction of many medications for the participants. In May of 2013, Tana’s new book, The Omni Diet: 2 Weeks to Lose Weight, Reverse Illness and Control Your Genes will be out.

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