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Eating healthy your family loves junk food

Posted by on Aug. 22, 2012 at 7:06 AM
  • 74 Replies

I always enjoyed healthy food although I am slowly falling into the easy dinner category. My husband loves curries, lamb chops, fried everything. My kids are more of a problem in this regard. Their dinner consists of chicken nuggets, fish fingers, store bought pizza, fries and toasted cheese sandwiches.

Multiple times have I tried to serve to them what we eat but my 4 year old son will go without eating for 2 days. That's how strong his willpower is and then DH tells me to give him whatever he wants.

I want to incorporate us eating as a family but at the moment we do not. Living in a house with no dining room we eat seperately. Kids eat first, then I eat and hubby will usually eat late at night as he is not hungry at the average dinner time.

Please advise me in anyway possible to improve my family"s eating habits.

by on Aug. 22, 2012 at 7:06 AM
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by on Aug. 22, 2012 at 10:02 AM
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My oldest is very stubborn.

We make him something he will eat, like pasta, or white rice, and serve something new a long with it.  He has to at least try the new food, sometimes he'll eat it all.  But we incorporate healthy foods into their meals.

by on Aug. 22, 2012 at 11:50 AM
30 moms liked this

What's wrong with lamb chops?

I would recommend that you allow your 4yo to go without food without comment for as long as he wants to. First, because I expect he is actually eating anything at all along the way, and second, because their appetites are typically small enough that they can, frankly, afford to live without food for a while in the face of a power struggle over what they're allowed to like.

Stop buying food you do not believe is 'food' enough, and discard or donate 100% of what is in your house that isn't 'food' enough. It is not more wasteful to put food in the garbage to feed the bacteria than it is to put it into a body that does not need it...

Let them be hungry for a few days. It won't injure them in any way, and they'll eventually eat what you provide --however much they grumble about it along the way-- until (in about a week), it's 'normal'.

Kids can eat (and enjoy) curry. Don't make two different dinners... make one, and if your husband wants to eat it later, he can heat it up. He probably has horrible memories of control, power struggles and high emotions at table from his childhood... make your dinner table (even if it's the coffee table or a picnic blanket on the floor) low-key, and he'll either keep eating 'later' when he reheats his own dinner himself (are you being paid as a short-order cook?) or he'll join the family for the only meal going.

When a strong woman simply puts her foot down, mildly and permanently, without arguing or demanding or pouting or whining or shouting... people (even stroppy, rebellious people) find it comforting, secure and quietly rearrange what they think they've always believed around it.

by on Aug. 22, 2012 at 11:58 AM
3 moms liked this

Wow that is what I am suppose to do. I'm going to start by not buying the crap I allow them to eat and start cooking one meal. I fear the challenge of letting my DH understand me putting my foot down with the kids.
I need to stop being such a softy and put my foot down.
Thank you for the eye opener.
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by on Aug. 22, 2012 at 2:56 PM
by on Aug. 22, 2012 at 2:56 PM
1 mom liked this
If you don't buy junk food they can't eat it. :)

I make one meal. They eat it or they dont. At 8 and 9 now, they eat it. :) E1 is more picky but she's coming around!!
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by on Aug. 22, 2012 at 5:03 PM

Try making a plan. Have a family sit down & tell them how & why you want to do this.
I understand how you feel.. My family did the same a couple years ago & we just wanted to start off 2010 healthy. So we did! It was honestly a little slow & hard at first but, it got easier & easier. :)

by on Aug. 22, 2012 at 5:05 PM
1 mom liked this

 My 4 year old DS was this way he lasted 3 days (snacking on fruits and veggies that i had ALL the time to make sure he was eating something, along with homemade juice and such..) he LEARNED to eat what I made PERIOD!

by on Aug. 22, 2012 at 5:28 PM
3 moms liked this

I let everyone have a hand in my meal planning when I start my weekly lists.  Everyone gets to pick a favorite dish for the week....well, we pick one of DD's for her, because she's only 20 months.  But, DS is 4 years old, so he gets to help me make my list by picking a dish, and DH picks a dish...the remainder are what I choose.

It works pretty good.  Both my kids are pretty good eaters.  My daughter is the harder one as she will only eat certain foods.  I hide a lot of the healthy stuff in her favorites.  Mash cauliflower in with the mashed potatoes, chop up her veggies a little bit smaller and mix them in with her foods so she can't easily pick them out.

And my 4 year old is required to take 1 bite for every year that he is if he turns his nose up at dinner.  Usually he'll finish his plate...but he always takes at least 4 bites of everything there.  

I never make more than 1 dish, unless we're having something that is spicey...I know my kids won't eat spicey, and DH and I both like it.

by on Aug. 22, 2012 at 6:00 PM

I try to plan meals where there's something for everyone that they will eat, and they usually have to try the main part of the meal even if they say they don't like it.

For example, If I know the entree part is iffy for the kids I'll have all-natural mac 'n cheese as a side dish. That way there's something on their plate they like.

The only vegetables my older daughter (4) will eat are cucumbers and green beans so we have one of those available to her every day. Her 2 siblings like more of a variety of veggies.

And yes, as others have said, if you don't have it in the house, they can't eat it. If they just really don't like dinner have a healthy option available like ham and cheese sandwhich, but not chicken nuggets if the rest of the family is eating a casserole you made. 
One night I made the cajun dirty rice really spicy, and only dh and I ate it... but that was my fault. I didn't force my kids to eat it. But if it hadn't been spicy they would have. Hamburger, rice, beans...

Also... for treats and desserts, homemade is usually better because there's nothing artificial in it. It's not that they never have cookies or cakes, but they aren't store bought with added flavors and colors. 

by on Aug. 22, 2012 at 6:18 PM
1 mom liked this

It's the same way at my house. My son will not eat ANYTHING except macaroni and cheese or chicken nuggets. I stopped buying those things. I cook what we are going to eat and if he doesn't eat it, he goes hungry. He's gone more than two days without eating much for lunch and dinner. But after a few days he'll finally eat something and every day he eats a little more than the day before. As long as he isn't getting sick from lack of food, I think he's ok. I still give him snacks during the afternoon so I know he's getting something, but nothing too bad like chocolate or cookies. He drinks a lot of milk too so he's always full from that. Anyway, make your rule and stick to it. He can't go on without food forever and it won't take long for him to figure that out. Just be stronger than he is. (That's really hard for me sometimes.) Good luck! :D

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