Avoid Creating Forbidden Foods
Linda Wechter-Ashkin PhD NCSP BC-TMHC ADHD CCSP
I don’t know how many of you have ever seen them, but there are meals that are labeled Kids Cuisine in the frozen food section at Publix. My son Alex’s favorite was the chicken nugget meal. With a sodium count of only 1200 mgs. you get a bite-sized portion of macaroni and cheese, a very tiny portion of corn, 6 chicken nuggets, and chocolate pudding. The box that the meal comes in has a way to pull out the dessert compartment so that you could put it on the side until your child finished the rest of the nutritious meal. Following suit, I did this repeatedly despite Alex’s protests. One day Alex asked, “Seriously why can’t I just eat the dessert with the meal”. Honestly, it was a good question when I thought about it, especially due to the lack of nutrition in the rest of the meal. And so, from then on I left the dessert in the box, and guess what, he didn’t eat it first. Sometimes he didn’t even eat it at all, he just wanted to know it wasn’t forbidden.
When we make something forbidden it is so hard to resist. Think about Adam and Eve. They were living happily in the Garden of Eden with everything they could ever want. The only thing they were asked by God to do was to stay away from the Tree of Forbidden fruit and we all know how that story ended. Children are especially drawn to the forbidden fruit. I remember when Alex was young if I wanted to him to do something, and he wasn’t cooperating, the best way to get him to do it was to tell him not to. He knew as he called it, I was playing “mind games” and yet he couldn’t help himself. It is human nature to want to do what we are told not to do. For example, the waitress delivers your meal and says don’t touch the plate it is hot. We all for some crazy reason touch the plate. Or someone says oh my goodness this smells disgusting and yet we have to go smell it for ourselves. The best way to get your child to touch, smell, taste, listen to or watch something is to make it forbidden. Let me teach you a better way.