"Don't Yuck My Yum": A Guide For Helping Kids Make Healthy Choices.
Picky eaters-- we all have encountered them at some point. If your child doesn’t happen to turn up his/her nose at what seems to be everything, consider yourself lucky. Because there are some of us who are exasperated at the notion of tiptoeing around their preferences and what’s good for them. After all, they have to eat and the fight is never worth it. All that the latter group of parents can do is hope that they grow to be more food adventurous as they grow.
As exhausting as it may be for you, what you may not know is that their choosy behavior can affect others around them.For example, let’s say that a nanny/teacher/daycare provider or even a fellow parent brings a veggie platter to a function. It takes only one kid to loudly exclaim:
“I HATE BROCCOLI!”
… and before you know it, the whole gaggle of surrounding fellow kids echoes a similar sentiment. Of course, you know that they are exaggerating, because that’s what kids do. What they may not know is that somewhere among that crowd, there is a kid who does not mind eating the tiny green trees. However, they have just been put in a very awkward position, and few are brave enough to speak out against the group. Worse, you are at risk of them bring this sort of attitude home, leaving you, the parent, scratching your head.
So, in order to combat this behavior, a Redditor suggested this phrase that may very well be life changing:
“DON’T YUCK MY YUM.”
Feels like a mouthful to say at first, but it’s so simple in its genius. “Don’t yuck my yum” puts it in straightforward terms that food shaming is not tolerated. It demands respect for others’ food preferences and sets clear boundaries. If it comes from you, the authority figure, they will most likely listen. In an ideal world, you would get your partner on board with this phrase. If the protests continue, simply repeat it. Eventually, the message will get through ( Side note: later on, you can adjust the phrase to “don’t yuck their yum”). Next time someone brings in the broccoli, the child will hesitate with their bold proclamations.
Although this method may not get rid of the choosy habit overnight, you’ve just taken the first step towards eliminating a negative attitude towards food, instead of encouraging it.
So, consider this to be your next life lesson to pass down to your kids. Say it out loud, repeat it like a mantra today and everyday: don’t. Yuck. My. Yum!