I hear it a lot, my child is picky, my child will only eat xxxx and oooo. They won’t try anything new, they won’t eat what I cook so I make them something different. There are a lot of picky eaters out there.
I am happy to say, I don’t have one. For awhile, Maggie was pretty picky. It was a relatively short lived phase. She quickly realized, it wasn’t getting her anywhere. I have written a post or two about the topic, there is this one, about encouraging healthy eating in young children, or this one about 7 easy tips to eat healthy this year, and this one about toddler mealtime habits.
It’s a topic I love to write about. It is important, and something many people struggle with. The good news is…..you can get past this with your kids. Together, with time and a good example, you can change their habits into healthy ones. Here are some of my favorite ways to get my kids to eat healthy.
~Lead by Example
~Have a wide variety of healthy choices
~Let them pick it out, whether at the store, or just at mealtime
~Go buy fresh. Really fresh. Like Farmer’s Market fresh
~Be consistent in your mealtime and snack time rules
~Tell them why healthy foods are good for their body, what it does for them
~Let them watch Copy Kids DVD
~Let them play with it in the play kitchen
There are so many more ways to get your kids making great food choices on their own. The best part is, they can all be done together! Make meal time preparation family time sometimes. Let them help.
Right now, I am fairly certain the kids are both going through growth spurts. They are constantly hungry. They get to choose one snack a day that is not the healthiest choice, crackers, maybe a cookie or something like that. Then, the rest of the day, their snack choices have to come from the fresh fruit and vegetables drawer, or can be yogurt or cottage cheese, or just cheese. Now, at 3 and 1 1/2, they both know, they can eat whenever they are hungry as long as their choice of food comes from that drawer. I question myself all of the time on whether that is a good rule or not. I do want them hungry for meal time, but I figure if they are full because they ate half a bag of carrots or snap peas or celery….they are gonna be just fine!
There are also a ton of ways to sneak healthy foods into meals they love. I add carrots, celery, onion and green peppers to my spaghetti sauce. It makes it taste even better and we get a bunch more vitamins. I prefer to just give them the vegetables, but it’s nice to add them in too. One of our favorite things to make with added vegetables is Chicken Noodle Bake.
How do you handle picky eaters? Do you have one? I’m sure you know of one. Are you one?
Each week, we are linking up for Tuesday’s Toddler Tales. This week’s topic is picky eaters. Next week is all things Valentine’s Day. Link up your posts, old or new.