My kids can be pretty picky eaters. I want them to eat fruit and vegetables and other healthy foods, and they want to eat cookies and ice cream and everything sugary and sweet. I have tried hiding pureed vegetables in their food, and it didn’t take long for them to catch on and be wary of every meal I put in front of them. My 8 year old son’s favourite meal is Kraft dinner. I thought I would buy the new cauliflower noodle Kraft dinner to make it a healthier choice, and he took one bite and knew something was not right. He refused it, and I not only didn’t get the vegetables into him, but I also didn’t get anything into him! So I had to change course and stop trying to trick my kids into eating.
I believe the easiest way to ensure that your kids eat healthy is to avoid having junk food available to them. If they don’t fill up on junk, they will be hungry and eat the healthy food that is available to them. I offer snacks in the morning and afternoon, and usually it is just a platter of fruit or veggies or cheese set out on the table for them to nibble on when they are ready. I don’t keep juice on hand for my kids so they can only drink milk or water, which they never complain about because it is all that they have offered to them.
I buy whole grain bread, and we grow vegetables in our garden. Involving the kids in the gardening is a great family activity and it encourages them to eat the food that they grow. Getting them to help prepare the food is also a great way to get them enthusiastic about eating it!
When all else fails, make a plate of veggies more interesting with a cheese sauce, or arrange their food in a pretty picture on the plate. Did you promise pancakes and syrup? Great! Add some blueberries to the pancakes! Apples and cinnamon also make pancakes delicious and adds a little more nutrients to the dish.
I avoid fighting with my kids to eat their meals. I have a “taste it” rule, and then they are free to go if they don’t want to eat, but I will not make a new meal for them. Their food will stay on their plate to eat if they do get hungry.
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Horizon. The opinions expressed by me do not necessarily reflect the view of the Horizon Organic brand.