So, what do we do? We stop fighting and we succumb to the-mom is a short order line cook and makes 2-3 different meals each night so that we don't have to listen to
any more whining!
but yet again, we remain exhausted, frustrated, and guilty that our children are not getting the nutrients they need into their body.
After many years of doing this, I have come up with a few solutions that have worked for my family.
1. De-constructed night: this is usually some sort of bowl or taco night where I have rice, taco shells, or a bed of romaine lettuce as the base in a bowl. I then cut up different ingredients and place them out on a platter (the more color, the better) and let them fill it with any of the items they want. The key with this is, do NOT tell them that they need to add anything specific. I have noticed that in time they will begin to try more items and add them to their bowls.
(pic above is a deconstructed sushi bowl that they were able to place over their rice)
2. Something familiar on their plate: Most of our dinners consist of a salad and vegetable, some sort of whole grain or potato, and then some meat on our plates. I always make sure to place everything that we, the parents, have on our plates and I do ask that my children taste everything on their plate. If they don't like it, they are not required to continue to eat it, but they must taste everything; even if they KNOW they don't like it. I then will also place some fruit, yogurt, or sometimes even something like goldfish on their plates (when they were younger), so that they had a couple of things that I knew they really loved. This allowed for less grumbling at the dinner table and also made sure that they had enough in their bellies if they didn't eat the other items.
3. A favorite meal: I always try to make one meal each week one that they love! Now with three kids, and varying tastes, this doesn't always work out where they all get a meal they love; but for the most part they don't mind eating something that their siblings love so it works out. Some of the famous go-to's in our house are Spaghetti and meatballs, homemade chicken tenders with rice and roasted broccoli, tacos, mac & cheese, or even grabbing their favorite dinner out. So you can guarantee one of these meals will be on our weekly plan each and every week.
4. Help in the kitchen: This truly does work and is so funny to me. My daughter loves green beans, and I think this has to do with this was one of the first things she helped me in the kitchen with, she would snap them for me. Another son, loves asparagus and yet again, he used to snap the bottoms off of these before I would roast them. The more they can help in the kitchen the more likely they will be willing to try what has been set before them; and if you are able to grow those items in your back yard even better. We have a growing system that we use to grow greens on our back porch.
How do you ensure you are helping your kids to eat healthier?