Aug 10, 2012

Tricky Picky Eaters!

Welcome to this weeks Friday's Five Favorites! 

Since we've started this blog I've had a number of people ask me how I get my kids to eat some of these meals.  The truth is that I don't.  They don't always like what I make for dinner but I don't cook just for them.  If I was only cooking for them we'd eat way too much mac n' cheese, pancakes, and cereal for dinner.

As new parents my husband and I tried to start some dinner table rules with our kids, thinking that consistency was what was needed.  Among others, one rule was that everyone had to take one bite of everything served.  Sounded simple enough to us but we met our match with Jaxson.  Overall he's a pretty good eater but if he's decided he does like something he will not eat it, not even one bite. 

Here's the proof.

We have multiple pics of this kid asleep at the table. He's so strong willed that he would rather sit at the table all night instead of take one bite.  No amount of bribes or threats would sway him.  I'm hoping we can correctly channel this determination so he uses it for good!

After a few too many battles at the table with this boy we decided to make a few changes and dinner time has been much better since.  Not perfect but better. Here my five favorite tips that have helped our family survive the chaos of meal time with those picky eaters.

1. Menu Plan.  I try to set up a monthly menu plan.  I do this for many reasons such as it keeps me organized and saves us money.  Because our family is small we eat a lot of leftovers.  Usually I cook two nights and then take one off and we eat what's left from the previous meals.  I try to make sure that one of those two meals is something they will eat good, that way 2 out of 3 nights they fill their tummies without a hassle.  Just a few of the meals that please everyone are Chopped Pizza, Creamy Italian Chicken, and Tortilla Soup. 

Also with meal planning I try to make sure there is something on the table that I know they will eat.  My kids love fruit so I often just cut up an apple.  Often I find that this gets them going.  They start eating the apple realize that they are hungry and start eating other things on their plate.

2. Give Choices.  We try to give our kiddos choices when it comes to what they eat so they feel like they are more in control.  Often I serve two different types of vegetables and tell them they need to eat one if they want their bedtime snack, which is always something they like.  We don't make a big deal of it, if they don't eat it that's their choice but no snack.  Sometimes we save their meal and when it comes to bedtime snack time they're willing to take a few bites.  But NO MORE battling for hours over a simple green bean.  I also try to throw in a few meals in our menu that provide lots of choices for them such as tacos or Hawaiian haystacks so they can choose what goes on their plate.

3. Make it fun. For kids life is about fun.  A little imagination can do wonders at the table.  Pretend you're all dinosaurs, animals, pirates or a royal family. Turn the meal into a picnic, game, or a friendly competition.

Turn their food into something fun, get creative!  Cookie cutters are a great tool for this.

Another great way to make food fun is by getting the kids involved.  My kids LOVE cooking with me and when they've helped make the meal their much more likely to eat it.  Give them a little ownership and watch them flourish!

4. Be the example.  My kids are 4 and 2 and I'm already blow away with how much their likes and dislikes resemble mine.  They both love broccoli and carrots which are my favorite veggies and neither of them care much for tomatoes, which as hard as I try I just can't come to like.  My husband loves mushrooms and eats them whenever he can and the other night I was blown away when my son decided to try one, and he decided he liked them!

5. Sneak in the nutrients.  Because I know my kids don't always eat everything they should we try to sneak in.  There are tons of great recipes out there for this.  I will throw in some veggies into our spaghetti sauce and we make a ton of smoothies at this house. 

We have a smoothie almost every morning with breakfast and often we have them for a bedtime snack as well.  There are tons of smoothie recipes out there.  Mine are always a little different but they usually go something like this;

1 big handful of spinach
about a 1/2 cup of other veggies we've done carrots, kale, lettuce, broccili and even celery
1 cup of lowfat yogurt
1 cup of water
1 banana
1 cup or more of frozen fruit

I often add in some flax seed for more nutrition and to make it a little more filling.  Sometimes I feel like it needs to be a little sweeter so I had some honey.  If I do it right we can't taste the veggies but they often do look green, like our St. Patty's Day smoothie.

If anyone out there has some tried and true, amazing tips on how to get kids to eat healthy we'd love to hear them!

Good luck!



Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

  © Blogger template Coozie by 2008 Customized and Installed by Custom Blog Designs

Back to TOP