How to get your kids to eat healthier

What a battle this can be for a parent.  Kids don’t like something and here we are trying to force it on them.  One minute they like something and then next day “EWE”.  We want our children to not be picky eaters, to eat good.  I’m not talking about organic or non GMO’s but just basic meals.  Your goal is to place it in front of them and expect them to eat it.  Sure…  if only it was that easy!  HA!

 

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THINGS TO AVOID:

  • Don’t let your children run the house when it comes to food.240c8e116ad91d1b33bb4b092af4cdc0
    • No making special meals for them.  Make the same thing for them as you would for yourself.  They wont starve but will eventually eat.  If they don’t like spicy and you do then accommodate to that.
    • You’re the parent.  The minute you start to cave into what they want instead of what the parent is cooking, they’ve won.  What do you think will happen the next time they don’t want the food your cooking.  Don’t start…  keep firm!
  • If parent is picky eater OR doesn’t like something don’t announce it!
    • If your child hears their parent complain about food then they’ll think its ok as well.  Keep it on the down low.
  • Keeping them out of the kitchen
    • Don’t make your kids not allowed in the kitchen.  They’re super curious on what you’re doing.   The more that they see and smell the better chances that they’ll want to help out and try new things.
  •  Try not to eat out so much
    • Yes, its way easier but all they are getting from it is bad habits.
  • Don’t try to push food that’s out of their comfort level
    • Giving kids food that might not be something they’d typically like and then forcing them to eat it can only leave one memory on them. YUCK!  Try to have fun with it and getting them more involved will help out.

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THINGS TO TRY

  • “No picky eaters in this home”
    • I use this saying a lot in my home cause I want them to realize that what I serve them is it. I don’t wanna hear complaints. They must eat it.  The minute you start catering to their needs is when they’ll start to expect it.
  • Cookbooks
    • Have them start their own cookbooks.  Could just be a binder with lined paper in there.  They can then create their own recipes with your help.  Kids that cook tend to eat their own food.
    • Have them look for recipes in cookbooks.  Great reading for them and they typically will have lots of questions but this is great for them to learn about measurements and instructions.
  • Chopped Nightskidcooking
    • Create a chopped night for the kids.  Place out a basket for each kid with ingredients.  I like to throw them off with some interesting things that they don’t typically care for (but will eat).  They always end up eating everything cause they made it.  **More details below on this.
  • Garden
    • Whether in planters or in ground have them plant some vegetables or fruit.  Kids love to pick things and then this is a good chance to have them create something with it.
  • Cooking Shows
    • Instead of watching normal TV shows…  watch the food network or other cooking shows.  They now have a lot of kids competitions like Jr Chopped that is great for kids to watch.
  • Start Young!
    • From the minute they are ready to eat food you need to create these healthy habits for them. Of course they’ll change as grow up but you are the guidance to them.
  • They don’t like something then have them make it
    • Most times if kids make their own meals they’ll most likely eat it. If they don’t like vegetables then have them go through the kitchen and pick out something and prepare it. If they don’t like salads then have them make their own salads. Go to the store with them and have them pick out their own salad dressings and things they’d like on it.

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My kids will often complain.  “mom, why don’t we have potato chips in the house”.  My response “cause then I’ll eat them all”.  LOL

They go to friends houses, school lunches and even grandma’s and get a different taste of food.  Stuff that is “more fun”.  So it can be hard.  We eat normal food but more on the healthier side.  You should see when they have friends over and when they get dessert of fruit…  their face.  HA!

 

If you have kids that are picky just try to have them be more involved in the kitchen.  Probably the best thing that has worked for me.  FYI… I did get them kids knives so I didn’t have a panic attack of them chopping off their fingers.  🙂

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Chopped Jr. Night

This is SO much fun for the kids.  If my kids had it their way they’d want to do this every night.  Some of the ingredients I’ll prepare for them like pasta, mashed potatoes, meat, water already boiling if need some, plus I have everything on counter for them.  Kitchen is quite the disaster afterwards but they help out once they’ve eaten.

I also don’t give them a time limit.  I don’t want them to stress and its not a competition.  I do try each of their plates but they get to eat it.  I make extra and set aside for myself to make after they are done.  🙂

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Ingredients they must use for this Chopped Jr was:

  • Spinach
  • Taco Shells
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Radishes
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Shrimp
  • Cooked Chicken

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Ingredients they must use for this Chopped Jr was:

  • Low Carb Pasta
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Spinach
  • Diced Cooked Chicken
  • Tomatoes
  • Slice of Bread (they ended up using and making croutons out of)

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**Diet restrictions, allergies, health issues will change the situation. If your child still wont eat what you put in front of them then next step would be to see family practitioner.  

About Leslie Pleasants

Leslie Pleasants is the founder of Today's Every Mom. Inspired by her own busy life with kiddos she set out to create a spot where Moms of any stage or age could find relevant and resourceful advice.