Say no to the tyranny of fish fingers, to the monopoly of happy meals and the lure of French fries. If you are stuck with a fussy eater and don’t want to be the kind of parent that makes their kids sit at the table until they clean their plate, then there are ways to make healthy food a desirable menu item.
Organic, Wholegrain Breads
Sandwiches and toast can be great, healthy ways to add fiber, whole grains and probiotics to their diet. Opt for organic artisanal breads which are baked using the long fermentation sourdough process. This means that they are left to rise for four to six hours which gives the gluten a chance to convert to digestible sugars which are gentler on the stomach. Whole grains (sprouted grains are even more nutritious) add much-needed fiber, vitamins and minerals to their diets.
Use a cookie cutter to create fun shapes for sandwiches and toast and steer clear of processed breads which are packed with additives and chemicals.
Kids need to eat five times a day; three meals and two snacks with lots of fluids in between. Keeping their glycemic level up (avoid sugary treats, fast food and processed snacks) will mean they are less moody and irritable come dinner time. When kids are calm and happy, they are less likely to complain about their food.
With busy schedules, it can be tough to get them to eat regularly so keep a cooler in your car with yogurt, carrots, fruit and other healthy snacks on hand so you aren’t tempted to resort to fast food solutions.
Being a family short-order cook who makes a meal for each family member’s personal proclivities is exhausting. Plan family meals with a couple of options (like two veggies or salads) so that your children feel like they have a choice. If they must eat three out of four meal items, they are less likely to object.
Ever found that introducing an unknown dish gets the same reaction your cat does to its dead mouse offerings? Be patient with new food and introduce it slowly, saying that it may take a few tries before their taste buds get the hang of it. Suggest foods that their heroes or sports stars like; getting your kid to eat carrots because Taylor Swift does is for the greater good.
Another way to get them to eat veggies is to serve them with dips. Yogurt-based dips and salsa could make veggies fun but be sure to offer dips that are bland as sharp tastes may not work.
Get your kids to help with dinners so that they will be more connected with their food. Better still, get them to grow some fruit and veggies in the garden or in planters on the windowsill. Your kid is far more likely to eat a carrot that they have grown themselves and broccoli that they have helped to cook.
Even getting them to help with the shopping and with picking which vegetables to buy will encourage them to try new things and eat healthy foods. Making them part of the process will be rewarding for everyone and don’t forget that you lead by example, so eat your fruits and vegetables!