September 22, 2015
How do you get your kids to eat healthy food?!?!
Kash, my youngest (15 months), eating chicken and swiss chard and LOVING it!
So you have decided to eat better, add more veggies into your diet, cut out processed food….but what about the kids?!?!? How will they survive without the overly processed sugary foods?!
As parents, so many of us are thinking this (well maybe not in these exact words) when we begin to think about making healthier food choices. But if we really look at what we are saying….”How will they survive without the overly processed sugary foods”? Now, while you might be saying, well my kids don’t eat that much “sugar”. Well, yes they do. If they are eating things from a box, processed food, they are most likely consuming more sugar than you realize. On average, kids should be consuming no more than 12-16g of sugar a day. (For, now let’s assume natural sugars in fruit, veggies etc are not included and therefore not part of the 12-16g.) Take a look at the food your kids eat for every meal, snack etc and tally it up! Start with the cereal, and you will probably be over the 12-16g already and that’s with just ¾ C serving.
After my oldest (Kailee) was born and I started reading what was in “kid friendly” foods I was shocked I realized the companies making the food were concerned about revenue and profit not my kids’ health… that was my job. So how do I get my kids to eat healthy?
Well, it always surprises me when people ask me how I get my kids to eat healthy. That’s an easy answer… I offer it to them. I try new and different recipes until I find ones that work for our family. I’m by no means a picky eater, yet there are certain veggies cooked certain ways that aren’t appealing to me, same goes for kids. But let’s be honest, if I were given the option between ice cream and kale….I would pick ice cream each time. So to think that your kids will always choose a veggie might be expecting too much, in the beginning. Instead of giving an open ended choice, I will give my kiddos two or three choices and they get to pick. This works for us, my kids enjoy having a choice and it lets them feel more involved, which I love! We have a rule at meal time; that you have to try everything on your plate. It doesn’t mean that you must eat everything, but a one bite minimum. It might take several times offering different veggies to find the ones your kids/family like and how they like them prepared. My kids will eat half a head a cabbage raw, but if I cook it….one bite, that’s it!
It might be time to break out of the box; you know… the baked chicken breast and side of veggies (broccoli, peas etc) box. This is where so many of us start, because we don’t know where us to go, right? Like anything else once you start you will learn how to make the things you want to eat, but a much healthier, real food version. And I love the idea of serving my family real food that they enjoying eating.
Here are some awesome resources I use ALL the time. I also follow them on IG so I don’t miss any of their new yummy ideas! Don’t be afraid to alter recipes to fit your family’s likes and dislikes.