Does anyone else wonder how those “crunchy” moms get their kids to eat and enjoy all that good stuff? I see other kids happily eating hummus, I read about how they love their raw —- bar, etc… I hope to give you a few tips and maybe you can give me some in return.
We’re not super healthy here, but we try to eat mostly whole foods, although the occasional Chips Ahoy gets snuck in. ;)
Here are some of my tricks:
Dips!! Kids love to dip. I try to make my own ranch for veggies, or buy it as natural as I can. Yogurt is great to dip fruit in. My oldest son used to dip rye toast in yogurt-they will dip almost anything!
Sour cream/Cheese/Chips (I know, I know…) I am desperately trying to get my kids to eat beans and rice about once a week. It’s like a torture session. I can tell the difference between “I really don’t like this” and “It’s not my favorite, I’d rather have chicken nuggets”. Although they don’t say it, mamma knows. I know they don’t hate the beans and rice, so I am firm. We had some leftover the other day with quesadillas, I put cheese on it and had them dip it with tortilla chips and they both ate most of it. I think slowly getting them to eat new things gets them more comfortable with it and eventually, they will be more willing.
Dessert only after good food is eaten-self explanatory.
Crudite before meal-When dinner is finishing up, sometimes I’ll set out carrots, celery, etc.. with ranch for them to snack, it keeps the hunger away and gets some raw veggies in them.
Give them a small portion of the food they enjoy along with the veggies, or beans, or whatever. When the plate is clean they can have more of the food they enjoy. My kids (and pretty much every other kid) will inhale the chicken nuggets and leave the carrots. So we give 2 nuggets and some fruit and vegggies. When all that is gone they can have 2 or 3 more nuggets.
Nothing else until you eat what I gave you. Sometimes it’s a battle of will. When I started working oatmeal into our breakfast menu they were miserable, it was new, it was different and they didn’t WANT to like it. If they didn’t eat it for breakfast, it was reheated later for snack, lunch, or whenever they got hungry. I’m trying to get them to understand we can’t eat our favorite foods every day. Not everything will be great and exciting.
Another thought I have is feed them whole foods when they are young. We have so many convenience snacks available now. My opinion is that these condition their tastes for dry “fake” foods. *Full disclosure, I use these and they can be lifesavers* I’m thinking-cereal bars, puffs, these BEYOND overcooked jarred veggie and meat cubes, “Graduate” type foods. I REALLY try to limit these sorts of snacks, but do use them. It can be hard to find good foods when the little ones are in that in between stage. One thing I would use as an easy breakfast are these whole grain waffles, they would be a great snack too. Bananas, Cooked frozen/fresh veggies, applesauce, casseroles, mashed potatoes mixed with veggies or cut up meat. I used a baby food grinder too before they ate the pieces-great for any type of pasta or potatoes mixed with veggies. The boys just ate what we ate. I used some jarred food, but after the initial one food at a time, I switched to mostly table food (saves so much money and they really like it!)
Prayer-In The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omoarian, there is a chapter where she talks about praying over our children’s eating habits. Pray for them to be attracted to healthy foods and have a desire to exercise and take care of their body.
Some of these are pretty similar but take a slightly different approach. It’s good to be firm and consistent, try to make it appetizing and be sensitive. I always have them try a couple of bites with a good attitude, if I see they really don’t like it, I won’t make them eat it. I also try to work just one new thing in at a time. Right now, we’re doing beans and I try to have them once a week, with a yummy dessert that night too. :)
So what tricks do you have?
We are linked up with Works for Me Wednesday.