It isn’t an accident that my daughter eats a variety of healthful nutritious foods. It is my personal mission.
My mother fed me wholesome, home cooked,vegetarian fare abut 85 percent of my childhood. There was fast food and junk food and some meat here and there. I received an education in balance. My grandmother home cooked all meals. I can not remember ever once having a take out meal or eating with her in a restaurant. This upbringing gave me confidence in the kitchen and a working evolving knowledge of food and its power.
I’m determined to give this foundation to my daughter in an even better upgraded superfood and herbal medicinal curriculum.
To lay the foundation for this I’m starting with healthful eating as a way of life. The entire family unit eats the good stuff. We all eat the same. I present her with an array of awesome choices.
Some she likes some she doesn’t even want to try. That’s ok. Aside from normal level parental prodding to try a bite or eat a meal when there is obvious hunger, food is a no pressure zone. I find the more relaxed I am the more likely she is to try something. So far it’s working out. I have a three year old that eats big salads of greens, quinoa, super smoothies filled with powerful foods, green juices, homemade mega veggie soups and more. I’m not saying there aren’t nights I have to opt out and give her a pb and j but, it’s not every night. It’s not even every week.
Here are a few ways that I use on a regular basis to keep the healthy flowing in and junk off the radar.
Offer Offer Offer!
She didn’t eat kale the first time I presented it to her. I brought it again and even again before she tried it. But, she tried it and now eats it on a regular basis. We named it lettuce lollipops. She picks baby kale up by its stems and chomps away. I always offer and offer again and again. Sometimes switching up how it is prepared. For example, the lettuce lollipops turned into a favorite when I massaged avocado all over them. WIN!
In most situations other than say, long car trips, sports days, or when truly needed, snacks are really just taking up valuable space for real meals. Unless your kid is a grazer as some are then just cut snack type foods as much as possible. When they do snack use fruits, vegetables, and nutrient filled beverages. Leverage those snacks into really healthy items and then you won’t be disappointed or worried when meals don’t go down as planned.
Walk the Talk!
You must be eating Healthy if you want your children to eat healthy. Bottom line, they learn by watching us. As i recomend for adults I also recommend for children do not be totalitarian in approach. Temper your journey with ease and wiggle room. This imparts the healthy lifestyle in a gentle and digestible manner.
I don’t make whales out of tomatoes or cucumber frogs but, I do slice and arrange pleasantly. I add visual appeal whenever possible.
One meal for all!
I am not saying I don’t sometimes short order cook. But, for the most part we all eat one thing. I may make the salad free of onions and serve her then add some spicier items to the adults salad but, it’s the same salad and she sees us eating what she is eating. This can take what feels like an eternity to break into if you have been cooking different stuff for the whole family but trust me eventually they will come around.
My girl really loves berries so I make a huge pile of those on the plate and then add a few new items I want her to try. Her enthusiasm for the berries gets the eating motor started and then she is more likely to keep feasting on the new items.
These are just a few methods I have found that work. I know once you start your journey you will have even more brilliant ideas. Maybe you are already teaching kids to eat healthy. Share your genius here in the comments, please!