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Getting kids to eat healthy...can be a daunting task.

Posted by on Feb. 13, 2009 at 8:15 PM
  • 10 Replies
Hey-anyone know of any creative ways to get kids to eat healthy? Or at least, eat healthier? I would love some tips. It seems like all they want to eat these days is pure junk. I've actually discovered a way to get some vitamins in without them knowing...I give my 6 yr old 1-2 packets of Emergen-C Kidz (they make it for kids now!), it's packed with vitamin C, lots of other nutrients and real fruit juice powders instead of artificial sweeteners. These days I need all the energy I can get, being a first time mom only gets harder as the years go on! (As fulfilling as they are!).
by on Feb. 13, 2009 at 8:15 PM
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1boy_2girls
by on Feb. 13, 2009 at 8:25 PM

the simplest way to get kids to eat heathy is to not bring junk food or food you dont want your kids to eat into the house.

kid friedly food that i serve is the kraft mac and cheese made with whole wheat.

apples with peanut butter or yogurt

oatmeal raison cookies

i make my own trail mix with dried fruits and nuts and call it can candy.

 

starleigh21
by on Feb. 13, 2009 at 8:30 PM

 Get rid of the junk food! lol. If it's not there, it's not an option. I'm not a big fan of junk food so i don't buy it, and i don't like the thought of wasting money on junk food that's not fulfilling, healthy, and can't be used as a meal, lol.

I have 5 step-kids, all of them hated vegetables when we got custody of them. Now they all eat cabbage, broccoli, aspargus, cauliflower, all the stuff kids usually don't like, LOL. Persistence. Consistency. Usually kids tastebuds are stronger than adults, so add cheese to vegies, or other things to take away the strong taste. Have them help cook it. Don't just cook it once, and if they say they don't like, not cook it again. Keep cooking it,e ventually it'll grow on them, unless they really hate it.

We have a rule that if you can't eat healthy, then you can't eat junk food. So if they don't eat the healthy foods offered, they don't get ice cream or other treat for dessert, they get carrots or celery sticks, lol. (bribery :))

PRbyHeatherD
by on Feb. 13, 2009 at 8:38 PM

Start "hiding" veggies and stuff in their main meals. That way you know they are getting the veggies they need but they don't know they are there. There is a good cook book out called Deceptively Delicious. Then you can just not buy the junk food. Keep it out of the house and replace it with healthier choices. My daughter used to hate fruit and stuff and I just only kept healthy things around and now she loves fruit. My mom even hides the veggies in food she cooks and we never know, you can't taste it or anything!  Hope this helps

KristyCT
by on Feb. 13, 2009 at 8:43 PM

so funny you brought this up tonight!

For dinner instead of just making mashed potatoes, I mixed in mashed cauliflower. You cant taste or see it in there and my son (and husband) LOVE their potatoes! It cuts down teh calories and the fat while giving them a more balanced meal (and they dont even know it)

I do have that book "Deceptively Delicious" ITs all recipes that are hidden healthy , but looking through it I still dont know that I could pass many of them off and I havent had time to try them. The potatoes were easy to do while the steak was on the grill.

Also - when I make pancakes, I throw a little wheat germ and stuff in the mix (again cant see or taste)

Last night I did a mac and pasta dish (ground meat and elbow noodles in tomato sauce) then I scoop it into bowls with a little mexican shredded cheese on top and a dallop of sour cream (Its a easy mexian dish - it was ok could use some more spices) But it has kideny beans in it and I used the Potato masher to squash up all the kidney beans and tomatoes so all they saw was the meat, sauce and noodles. No idea there were beans in it! I also use whole wheat pasta.

Good luck! I not only have to trick my toddler but my husband most of the time!




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1boy_2girls
by on Feb. 13, 2009 at 8:46 PM

i dont think tricking them by hiding veggies is a good idea. i think they should know what there eating so they learn to like it. you might have a few tantrums along the way but kids need to know that your the mom and what you say goes.

also dont make food a battle. have certion times during the day when you serve a meal or snack and if they dont want what your serving they can have somthing to eat at the next meal/snack time. dont fall into the trap of being a short order cook.

PRbyHeatherD
by on Feb. 13, 2009 at 8:53 PM


Quoting 1boy_2girls:

i dont think tricking them by hiding veggies is a good idea. i think they should know what there eating so they learn to like it. you might have a few tantrums along the way but kids need to know that your the mom and what you say goes.

also dont make food a battle. have certion times during the day when you serve a meal or snack and if they dont want what your serving they can have somthing to eat at the next meal/snack time. dont fall into the trap of being a short order cook.


You can demand that they eat the veggies also, but if they don't eat them atleast you know they are getting the nutrients out of them. The problem with only offering food at certain times if they eat it great if they don't type of thing is, it is against the law (atleast here) to do that. Your kids have to eat, CPS will tell you fix them something else because it is neglect not to have them eat something (whether it's their "choice" or not!

KristyCT
by on Feb. 13, 2009 at 8:56 PM

Its not just tricking them. My son will choose grapes and apples over a candy bar any day. But he has his favorite fruits and veggies and I like to make sure he gets variety.

He's two and toddlers are not that flexible to trying knew things at this young age, so I dont think there is anything wrong with making sure he gets the appropriate nutrients.

Just because you are hiding it in everyday food doesnt mean your not still encouraging and offering it to them on its own. (the potatoes I put cauliflower in, but when I give him broccoli with dip, I try to get him to also try the cauliflower with dip)

Also - Maybe I mis-represented my goal, its not really about tricking them as much as it is about making everyday stuff healthier.

When you look at many recipes or convience foods it is way overfilled with fat to make things super yummy - not really good for the body especially when trying to teach good eating habbits.

Like the potatoes, adding cauliflower makes them as filling while making it healthier. Adding wheat germ and such to pancake mix isnt really about the point of hiding it from him. My son wouldnt even know what some stuff was, its more about making everyday stuff a little healthier for him.

I think its ok to be tricky with food to make it healthier for all, but I agree it is just as important to offer it on its own so they do see if they like/dont like things.

 




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norahsmommy
by Silver Member on Feb. 13, 2009 at 9:00 PM

I agree, don't buy the junk.  Then they will be more likely to eat what is put in front of them.  Also if they don't eat it, don't stress, just say ok, then go to bed. Or if you don't want to do that just let them do what they normally do after a meal, just NO snacks other than what you think they should eat, fruit, veggies, or nothing at all.  NO pop at all is a great thing.  A friend of mine gave me her "Deceptively delicious" cookbook.  I like the idea of sneaking veggie purees into everything you eat, but I didn't like the taste of some of her recipes so I just put veggie purees in my own recipes. 

"No one wants abortion as she wants ice cream or a porche. She wants an abortion as an animal, caught in a trap, wants to gnaw off its own leg."- Frederica Mathewes-Green


"Abortion ignores the cause and treats the symptom: instead of suggesting a way out of the isolation mothers face, it offers a way out of motherhood."  -Nancy Randolph Pearcy


1boy_2girls
by on Feb. 13, 2009 at 9:01 PM

WOW i cant belive that only offering snacks and meals at certion times is notw concidered neglect. how do they work in daycares and school then do they let the kids eat any time they want to. 

just woundering but what state are you from.

Quoting PRbyHeatherD:

 

Quoting 1boy_2girls:

i dont think tricking them by hiding veggies is a good idea. i think they should know what there eating so they learn to like it. you might have a few tantrums along the way but kids need to know that your the mom and what you say goes.

also dont make food a battle. have certion times during the day when you serve a meal or snack and if they dont want what your serving they can have somthing to eat at the next meal/snack time. dont fall into the trap of being a short order cook.


You can demand that they eat the veggies also, but if they don't eat them atleast you know they are getting the nutrients out of them. The problem with only offering food at certain times if they eat it great if they don't type of thing is, it is against the law (atleast here) to do that. Your kids have to eat, CPS will tell you fix them something else because it is neglect not to have them eat something (whether it's their "choice" or not!

 

bugga
by on Feb. 13, 2009 at 9:07 PM

i have this cook book to and i use it all the time it even has a great receip 4 donuts they dont need to know they r good 4 them.

Quoting PRbyHeatherD:

Start "hiding" veggies and stuff in their main meals. That way you know they are getting the veggies they need but they don't know they are there. There is a good cook book out called Deceptively Delicious. Then you can just not buy the junk food. Keep it out of the house and replace it with healthier choices. My daughter used to hate fruit and stuff and I just only kept healthy things around and now she loves fruit. My mom even hides the veggies in food she cooks and we never know, you can't taste it or anything!  Hope this helps


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