As a mother of toddlers, I am constantly worried that the kiddos aren’t getting enough proper nutrition. I was told by a far off source that if a child is lacking protein, carbs, and/or vitamins they will crave and eat those foods to fill that void. Boy is that off. Needless to say I have a picky eater, a VERY picky eater. Every meal we would put veggies and fruit on the lunch and dinner plate and every meal they would go untouched (unless they floated in the drink.) I tried not to make too big of a deal out of it, thinking that someday she would get curious about the “other” side of the plate. But when I found out that she was becoming deficient and it was affecting her health, I knew I had to take immediate action. So here are some tools that I have used to help solve my dilemma.
“Deceptively Delicious” book—it’s a recipe book by Jessica Seinfeld teaching mothers to sneak in veggies and fruit into everyday “kids” foods. I still serve the green beans with the spaghetti and meatballs but I don’t stress out that they don’t get eaten. The spaghetti is now fortified with wheat pasta, cauliflower, carrots, tomatoes and spinach. I LOVE trying the new recipes and inventing my own with the added veggies. In all honesty, the food tastes good and we are finding it fills us up a lot faster than before (we are getting added veggies, too).
“Eat this Not that” book—this book is comparing the pre-prepared items in the grocery store. It is teaching the consumer (me) that just because it looks or says that the food is healthy doesn’t mean that it is (and it tells you why so you can make an informed decision). So now I am taking this book to the store with me and every time I buy a premade dinner, bread or juice. I then consult my new healthy food reference and make the best possible choice. I love it because it brings a new challenge to the food shopping trip and I can still get my chocolate and sugar fixes (and not feel guilty.)
The Snack Boxes—we bought a small Tupperware for each of the kids. We let them decorate it and color them. I then put the boxes in the fridge filled with good choice snacks. Now when the kids want a snack they can go into their box and grab which ever suits their fancy. Each snack is the proper portion size and since I control what goes in there I only put the best in there. I only fill them up once a week so once it’s gone, it’s gone. So when snack time rolls around I am not scouring the cupboards and then settle for fruit snacks or the eighth cookie that day.
I am still in the beginning stages of this uphill battle but I thought I would share some of the things that I have found that works. Do you have a picky eater? Do you have any advice? Let me know what you think?