What is Competence?

Moms are the best teachers. We know that every day, you’re teaching your child something new that is helping them grow into a special and unique little person. At You’re the Mom, we want to give you the tools to teach your little ones about healthy eating so they can grow up to be happy, healthy eaters for life. In this post, we’re going to talk about something called competence, which can help kids to gain confidence in themselves and what they eat. We’ll cover what it is, why it’s important for your child to become competent, and ways you can help them become more competent.

What is Competence? 

When we’re talking about food, diet, and what they eat, competency is the idea that kids feel confident in handling food, making food, and choosing what food to eat. That may sound sort of silly at first, but competency around food can help your child to learn to make healthy food choices, learn to prepare their own food, and even help them understand how much they should be eating.

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Why is it Important?

Competence is important because it helps kids grow up to be comfortable in their own environment and feel confident enough to handle new challenges. With food, this can be as simple as a child being excited to try a new vegetable or be willing to help you cook. As they get older, kids who are competent with food and nutrition may feel comfortable making food for themselves and eating a healthier diet. And the good news is, there are tons of easy ways moms can help their kids to become more competent with food and healthy eating!

Ways to help your child become more competent:

Parents play a big role in helping their kids becoming competent, and we’re going to dive deeper into some of these ways to encourage your child’s competency in other blog posts. But for now, here are a few examples of things you can do every day that will help your child to gain competence with food and diet:

  • Play copy-cat! Kids love to copy what they see adults do, which can be great when you are trying to get them to eat healthily! If kids see their parents making healthy choices with the food they eat, kids are more likely to want to eat healthy foods, too. Leading by example with healthy food is a great way to increase your kid’s competence
  • Kids are more likely to eat food that is around the house. By buying healthy foods when you shop and by making healthy foods more available, kids are more likely to eat healthily! For example, keep a bowl of fruit like apples and bananas out on your counter, or keep cut-up vegetables in the fridge. Kids are more likely to grab them for a snack because they’re quick, easy, and accessible!
  • Have your child cook with you. By cooking with your kid, they get more comfortable in the kitchen and may start to learn a few recipes. For younger kids, having them help with snack preparation or having them do simpler tasks to help you in the kitchen are all important for increasing competence. Kids learn by doing, so encouraging them to handle and prepare food whenever possible is great for their kitchen competence!

By helping your child to feel more confident with their knowledge of food, you’re helping them to become more competent!