4 Foods You Shouldn’t Feel Guilty About Feeding to Your Kids

4 Foods You Shouldn’t Feel Guilty About Feeding to Your Kids

Despite what you might have heard, there’s no “right” way to feed your children.

By Debbie Koenig

Motherhood comes with plenty of opportunities to beat ourselves up. It’s just so easy to fall for the idea that there’s a right way to do things, which much also mean there’s a wrong way – and if we choose incorrectly, we’re dooming our children to a lifetime of misery.

Well, good news: That’s not true. At all. Unless we’re talking about behavior that’s legitimately dangerous, every family gets to set its own definitions of right and wrong. What works for me may not work for you, and it doesn’t have to. And when it comes to food, I can pretty much guarantee that what pleases my kid won’t please yours. (Seriously, the kid puts mustard on everything. Every. Thing.) So cast off your mealtime shackles! Don’t sweat so much about what others say you should feed your kids, and instead focus on what works for your family.

  • Embrace plain buttered pasta, if it means you get to eat your spicy puttanesca in peace. The idea is to cook one meal, and let each person in the family take from it what they want. Maybe slice an apple to serve alongside, if that makes you feel better.
  • Use packaged foods, if it allows you to sit down together for a meal – enjoying that family time is more important than serving a gourmet feast.
  • That includes hot dogs. My son is 9 years old, and hot dogs were the first thing he learned to really cook for himself. He slices them down the middle and browns them in a frying pan, and they come out exactly the way he likes them. I wouldn’t trade the pride I see in his eyes for all the broccoli in the world.

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  • Can’t afford organic everything? Me neither. But nutritionally, there isn’t much difference (at least, not enough for scientists to agree that organics are necessarily better). I save my organics dollars for the things we eat the most – apples, milk, carrots, berries, chicken – and I don’t sweat the rest. Our bank account simply won’t stretch far enough to embrace organics 100 percent.
  • And if you’re still in the baby stage, please don’t stress about using formula. I had huge issues with breastfeeding, and a very wise lactation consultant helped me get past my guilt. “You’re feeding your baby,” she said. “That’s what’s important.”

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That idea holds true for virtually any kind of food, if you ask me. If your kids are thriving and you’re not stressing, it’s all good.

What “bad” foods do you feed your own kids?

Debbie Koenig writes about family and food, and is the author of the cookbook Parents Need to Eat Too. Find her at http://debbiekoenig.com.

Image ©iStock.com/FabioFilzi

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