Have you ever seen my tips for getting kids to eat well? It’s posted on my blog on a separate page, but in case you’ve never seen it I’m posting it here today.
- Eat with them! Make them the same dinner you make yourself. Let them see what you eat. Don’t just feed them what you think they’ll eat, but what they should.
- Start them early— when they can first eat solids with foods besides cereal. They might spit out the beans and peas a few times, but keep doing it.
- Get them interested in foods by planting vegetables or herbs, shopping at a farm, farmer’s market or stand, and cook with them (let them help)!
- Don’t treat vegetables like a punishment. They’re delicious, but kids need to get accustomed to them.
- Don’t quit. Really, your kids will eat them.
- Don’t beat yourself up on those times than you give them the unhealthier stuff. Just try to limit those times.
- Have fun! For example: Make up games or dances; tell them their favorite super hero or cartoon character loves a particular food; cut foods into shapes or arrange on plate so it’s a smiley face.
- If you’ve noticed my pattern with cooking vegetables- I do this for almost all the vegetables I cook (just to varying lengths of time). Bring pan of water to boil and submerge veggies or steam, when just done (still crisp but tender and still have vivid color) remove from heat, strain and dunk into cold/ice water to stop them from cooking, keep on side until ready to serve meal. Reheat in sauté pan with pat of butter, pinch of sea salt and some fresh ground pepper until just hot enough to eat (you don’t want them to cook further). You can substitute butter with olive oil or olive oil and garlic if you prefer. Just careful not to put too much olive oil to overpower the veggies.
- If you start with a family recipe or something you know how to cook well, do it. Don’t try to make gourmet meals if you’re not a confident cook. Just go for healthful ingredients, fresh vegetables… real food. Go ahead and cut corners when you’re in a rush—frozen brown rice takes 3 minutes in the microwave as opposed to 40+ minutes normally.
- If you need recipes that are kid friendly you can check out my archives.
- Go with popular cookbooks like those by Jamie Oliver or Mark Bittman—quite easy to follow.
- Trader Joe’s is such a great place! Best organic butter— and not outrageously priced. All their own brands are GMO-free. Applegate Farms cold cuts are affordable there too. The abovementioned frozen organic rice- Jasmine or brown. Cheeses, milk and yogurts are all without growth hormones. I get so many appetizers for gatherings there. (One I like to make is from their frozen nan. I put goat cheese or Boursin with chopped spinach and tomatoes or sliced shiitakes. Cut into pieces.)
- Read labels. Don’t serve anything with high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, artificial colors, artificial sweeteners (even Splend!), or artificial preservatives (BHT, TBHQ). Notice the top three ingredients as they make up the majority of the food. Try to avoid the stuff that has sugar listed as first ingredient unless it’s a dessert or just sugar.
- Try to get local produce, dairy and meats (join a CSA—community supported agriculture program or shop farmers’ markets). If you can’t try to get those without pesticides and hormones.
- Utilize the larger stores own brands of organic foods; they’re usually cheaper.
- Buy the fresh stuff on the outer edges of supermarkets instead of the processed stuff that’s usually occupying the middle aisles.
- Go without kids if you can. You’ll be less likely to be swayed into getting something they may have seen on TV or with cartoon characters pushing junk at them.
- If you buy juice- go with organic if possible and avoid added sugar, corn syrup or artificial ingredients.
- Don’t buy low-fat or fat-free foods (in foods that normally have fat), but just limit the fats you eat. Go for more vegetable than animal fats.
You can also contact me with any particular question or trouble you may be having.