|Yes, that's cheese...|
Our son, Lucas, is both a picky eater and a stubborn eater.
He wants what he wants, and sometime, as parents, we can get frustrated with
his lack of imaginative eating. Thankfully, he loves the cooking process and we
do eat a variety of cuisines, so eventually, we feel he will come around on the
spicy Chinese food, sushi, and varieties of fish that we tend to favor in our
It does strike me as odd, though, that so many children eat
such similar foods at different ages. Most of the children in our families,
around the age of 4 like Lucas is now, have liked the bland, easy foods; your
pizza, mac and cheese, etc. Also, some children have a hard time eating
vegetables. We are asking our parent readers to give us some suggestions as to
how to encourage healthy food with a variety of choices, rather than sticking
with the typical meals. Here some choices we have made.
Most parents attempt what I like to
call the vegetable trick. This involves mixing vegetables inside mashes or
smoothies that include other sweeter or tastier treats as well. In Lucas’s baby
food, we would mix strawberries with broccoli, peaches with butternut squash,
etc. We have friends that make smoothies full of kale and spinach, but also add
some Nutella and milk to turn it into a milkshake. This can be a great way to
make sure your child is getting the health benefits of vegetable, but may also
be encouraging a child to not develop the taste buds to appreciate the
complexity of vegetable flavor.
2. The wait until their hungry Approach
This involves offering up only
vegetables or fruits as snacks, and providing mostly vegetable and fruit
options for dinner. It is really not that necessary for children to be rabid
meat eaters or overindulge their sweet tooth, so this can be effective in
helping children understand that this is all they will be eating. We use this
method with Lucas’s snacks, and try to offer carrot sticks and celery sticks
with hummus as a preferred snack.
3. Give them a good example
As with most parenting examples,
modeling the proper behavior is the most important thing you can do. If you do
not eat your vegetables, how can a child think that they have to eat their
vegetables? If you never eat fruit, why should your child? Make sure you make
healthier choices, and more often than not, your child will grow up choosing
healthier foods to eat and sustain themselves.
Parents, give us some more suggestions!
Labels: eating well, Healthy food choices, variety of food