If you have children, then you probably know all about picky eating and how hard it can be to get kids to eat healthy.
Of course in an ideal world, we as parents would be eating healthy and our kids would follow suit. But we are not in an ideal world.
You might hear of the parents who only eat organic, and their super kids who chow down edamame with a smile.
But until you reach that point here are a few tips I have learned over the years on getting my kids to eat healthy.
First things first, everything in moderation. If you believe this for yourself, then you should want this for your kids. I think even kids should have a bit of sugar every now and then. But only in moderation.
Flaxseed – provides omega-3 oils, and has no added taste so you can add it in pretty much anything. My friend Carissa adds a spoon to her kids’ smoothies, and I add some to pancake mix. Your kids will never notice.
Cauliflower – puree it and add some in a homemade dish of macaroni and cheese. Cook the cauliflower with cheese before adding it to the pasta. The cheese hides the flavor of the cauliflower. FZ gobbled this up.
Nuts – I know some kids are anti-nuts, but they are really good for your health. FZ still does not like nuts so I grind them to a powder (almonds, walnuts, etc.) and add it to desserts or even a glass of milk.
Raw veggies – I find it hard to get FZ to eat some vegetables if they aren’t cooked. So I have even let her eat frozen peas and carrots. Or I have steamed them and given to her with some ranch dressing on the side.
Kids will be kids
The main thing to remember is you cannot force your kids to eat. Anything. It just won’t ever work. I remember trying with FZ and I ended up screaming because there was more food on the floor than in her mouth. Lose-lose situation.
But kids do love variety and something different and fun. Show your kids how fun it is to dip cucumbers in ranch dressing and feel the crunch. Although I am not a big fan of hiding ingredients, I think sometimes you have to pick your battles and just get the job done. FZ had a phase where she didn’t want any meat at all. I ended up slightly pureeing ground beef and adding it to spaghetti sauce.
Also, never give up. If your kid dislikes a certain food, always keep offering the food to your child. Who knows? They might just be going through a phase. Now FZ eats meat fine, and I don’t have to puree anything.
Now if I could only find the secret ingredient on getting them to nap…