Easily Create HEALTH Excitement In Your ChildFri 25 Apr 2014
Story by Matthew Landen
Before you begin reading; I want you to first think of a time when someone was trying to sell you something you weren’t ready to buy. The more they tried selling the more annoyed you became. Maybe you are at a car lot simply to look and yet a dealer approaches you and begins explaining all of the car’s benefits without you ever asking. “With its high horse power and great gas mileage you would be crazy not to buy.” Without wanting to buy the car, the more the salesman talked, the more you wanted to leave for good.
Now, a few weeks later you decide to go to a car lot again. You have done more research and see many of the benefits a new car will provide. You are now possibly interested in buying. This time, instead of feeling annoyed by the dealer, you are excited to ask questions. You then find a car you really like and are so excited it only takes a little push from the dealer and you decide to give in. After making the decision on your own you drive away feeling incredible. Your friends are going to be impressed, you will be looking good, and somehow you just feel better having made the right decision.
While reading those last two paragraphs I imagine you could actually feel the emotions of the situation exactly as if it were happening. Your child has the same mental buying process when it comes to the foods they eat. You can tell a child all of the benefits of the food and it won’t make any difference if they are not interested in buying.
Here are some ideas for how you get your child ready to buy:
Step 1: Feed child as many fruits and vegetables as they will eat on their own free will
In this unit of time every child has a different starting point in how far they want to go. Maybe today they won’t go further than only eating fruit. That’s ok. Start them there, and give them those foods as often as you can. Get them in the habit of consistently eating fruits and vegetables they like.
Step 2: Remove all positive emotions around junk food
1) “If you eat all of your vegetables you get dessert,” has got to go. You are literally telling your child vegetables are gross because you need to reward them for eating it. You are also putting anticipation on dessert. Anticipation brings excitement and overconsumption. Never reward a child or bring anticipation towards junk food (occasions are ok). You can’t habitually eat birthday cake, but you can habitually eat dessert.
2) “I’m making your favorite dessert,” has got to go. Your child should only have ‘favorite’ healthy foods. This phrase brings positive emotions to the food (good or bad) and gives the child an expectation to enjoy it. Also, when a child associates food with a loved one then they will forever enjoy that food (good or bad).
3) Be excited about healthy food: You are so excited about healthy foods that your child will expect it to be good and become excited about eating it. You don’t have to push at all but simply make it fun ☺
Step 3: Begin movement forward
Now, the child is about ready to buy - Just give them that little push and they will give in.
1) Undercover sale (Unique technique & Extremely powerful): Child makes a small improvement - be happy and give a simple ‘I’m proud of you.’ Then let the child overhear you telling anyone how proud you are. Say, “Johnny is really on the right path to being invincible.”
2) Ask child questions and they will sell themselves: Ask child - Is this healthy? Why? What can make this meal healthier? Allows them to learn and they are choosing the foods.
3) Cut as much sugar as possible out of diet (Manipulates taste buds)
a. You cannot expect a child to enjoy healthy foods if they consume a lot of sugar/sugar substitutes.
4) Remove Temptation: Shop at a health food store to avoid advertised/artificial foods. At home put all junk food in a single location and always make healthy foods easy to access (Fruit bowl). As their environment changes their perception changes.
5) Be the role model
You can’t change a child’s mentality overnight. They have habits and taste buds that have to be changed which does take time. You may be stuck on step 1 and 2 for a month before the child is ready to buy. It’s ok. You must never give up and always continue to transition the excitement away from junk food towards healthier options. Commit to yourself and commit to your child’s health and you will successfully raise a healthy child!
About the Author: Matthew Landen -Board Certified Drugless Practitioner. Phoenix, AZ
Matthew Landen is a Board Certified Drugless Practitioner from Phoenix, AZ. He specializes in the psychology of health as it relates to a child. In other words, he knows how to get your child excited about health and happily making healthy choices in their life. Matthew is an author and the founder of Project Million, whose goal is to positively impact 1 million children through their health education program specifically designed for kids. He believes that in order for a child to remain healthy for life then they must feel they are making the choice on their own rather than feeling forced from a parent.
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