6 Tips To Raising A Healthy Eater
Stop picky eating habits from the start with these 6 easy tips for building good eating habits.
How Do I Feed My Stubborn Picky Eater?
Chicken nuggets again?
It is easy to find yourself in the rut of eating the same foods and even easier to have your child fall into the same rut. I get it your busy.
They refuse everything you cook.
Here we are chicken nuggets again.
I mean its the only thing they will eat what am I suppose to do?
Follow along as I break down a few simple tricks to get your most pickiest eater to eat foods that will fill them wholeheartedly.
#1 Stop Buying The Go To Food When Buying Groceries For Your Family
What ever that go to food is that your child demands even when you have prepared a perfectly delicious family meal that they refuse to eat that is the one thing you should stop buying.
I know that might seem a little extreme, but it becomes a vicious cycle that goes something like this.
You buy the go to food.
The little one refuses other things and you give in because they need to eat something.
From here the cycle is continuous.
Your child knows its available.
It gets the job done the kid's not hungry anymore.
Related Article On Feeding Kids:
Now I'm not saying they can never have their favorite food again, but just for now until you get out of the rut of eating the same limited foods everyday.
When its not available you won't resort to serving that go to food the moment your child refuses other options.
Now is a good time for a disclosure.
This part may be rough.
Your child is sure to cry.
You probably will too.
Just stick with it.
It may take some time to get use to, but in the end your child will start developing new taste preferences making it easier to incorporate other foods into their diet.
#2 How To Feed Kids That Won't Eat Anything You Make?
If you want your child to enjoy eating a variety of foods, you are going to have to cook them and do it well because lets face it those little ones can be your toughest critics especially when it comes to food.
So if you have never been much of a home cook now is the best time to learn.
There are so many resources available to help get you started.
Start with a couple of your favorite foods and learn how to make them for your family.
If you are new to home cooking start with easy dinners that are kid friendly.
With easier meals you will gain more confidence in the kitchen and begin learning different cooking techniques that will leave you feeling like a gourmet chef in no time.
Free Mini Course Guide To Cooking For Beginners:
Now here is why home cooking is so important in creating a healthy eater.
If your taste buds are accustomed to eating processed foods with high amounts of sodium and preservatives, you will not like the taste of whole foods.
This is true for anyone.
The good new is that your taste preferences can change and will change as your eat more whole foods.
Now again I am not saying never reach for that frozen dinner for a quick meal, but do make a conscious effort to have more home cooked meals from scratch and you will reap the benefits of better nutrition and health for yourself and family.
#3 How To Meal Plan When Feeding A Picky Eater?
The planning starts before you enter the grocery store.
It is too likely that your cart will be filled with old bad habits if you go shopping without a plan of what your going to buy.
So plan a list.
The list is going to be simple.
Choose a few favorite meals get the ingredients and start cooking.
Check Out Easy Weeknight Recipe Ideas Your Family Will Love:
Do not make anything that is too much out of your families comfort zone because you will lose their interest before it ever had a chance.
Instead, plan your family's favorite meals and then figure out how to make them with nutrient dense fresh ingredients.
Plan your dinners first because they tend to have the most ingredients and are usually the largest expense.
Plus your dinners can also serve as lunch the following day so make sure to prepare extra.
This one tip will serve you so well.
Making it easy to know what is for lunch the next day.
Sometimes you can create a whole new dish out of left over ingredients and that is always a win.
Easy Recipe Ideas For Kids:
Think Rotisserie Chicken for dinner and transform it into Chicken Salad for lunch the next day.
With these simple tricks you can reduce the cost and energy it takes to keep your crew eating well at lunch and dinner.
Now all your have to do is plan a few healthy breakfast options and of course snacks.
Breakfast needs to be nutritious, but lets be real it also has to be quick.
For those in a hurry choose three simple breakfast options and simply rotate.
Once you get the hang of incorporating those add some more variety.
Breakfast can be simple by incorporating a fruit with all meals and simply rotating the main food on the plate.
Think cereal bowl with fruit and milk.
Whole grain waffles with fruit smoothie.
Yogurt parfaits topped with fresh fruit and English muffins.
Blueberry Pancakes with fruit slices.
Oatmeal topped with warm apple bits.
Or simply a fresh fruit bowl topped with granola.
Again think of simple combinations and begin introducing new flavors to your little one.
Need More Breakfast Ideas?
Snacks are easy.
Fruit or Vegetable paired with something they enjoy.
The key is to get them to eat the healthy snacks but also allow them to enjoy kid friendly items like string cheese, crackers, granola bars and so on.
It is not about eliminating everything your child enjoys, but rather introducing them to new foods that are also healthy.
#4 What To Do When Your Child Won't Eat?
Once you have put in the effort:
You chucked the go to food it is out of the house.
You have prepared and stocked your kitchen with healthy options.
You have a plan to make food that your family will enjoy.
You have started cooking and now have more confidence in making healthy meals for your family.
You have done everything.
But the kid just won't eat!
Don't do it.
Do not give in.
This may be harsh but listen closely.
Let them go hungry.
Remember that earlier disclaimer their going to cry and then your going to cry.
Yup that part happens again here.
This is called the transition period and it is hard, but worth it so stand your ground.
Related Articles On Feeding Your Family:
I mean what good are you doing if you give in now?
If you have thoughtfully prepared a nutritious meal that taste good and your child won't eat it let them be hungry.
Now I would like to point out that the meal has to taste good.
Remember my point about actually being good at cooking as an important part.
Because lets be real if your food taste gross or you burnt it well that is not going to go over very well.
However, if the meal is good.
The kids won't eat.
Let them be.
Eventually, they will learn that when you make a meal it is expected that they eat it.
If not then hungry is the other option.
It is very simple.
However, this can be difficult especially if you are dealing with an extremely picky eater.
#5 The Extreme Picky Eater
We know the ones.
Shit they even throw up at times.
They are the extreme picky eater.
With this you are going to have to start slow.
With time change will come.
So to begin start with foods that they like.
Have smaller portions of the foods they like while adding more items that are new.
Again try not to change things up too much.
For instance, always eats chicken nuggets and French fries for lunch.
Try reducing the amount of fries and offering a steamed vegetable or fresh fruit.
Then eventually eliminate the fries or choose to make homemade for a healthier version.
Or if pizza is their go to.
Try making a plant based version using some delicious eggplant as the base topped with fresh tomato sauce and some mozzarella cheese.
With Mac and Cheese add some color and nutrients with steamed peas and carrots.
What ever level of eater you are dealing with try adding more and more fresh produce into every meal slowly creating a more whole food based lifestyle.
Easy Dinner Ideas With Ground Beef Kid Approved:
#6 Water is Best and Smoothies are Cool
Yes I know kids like juice and when they get use to it the taste of water seems to become a thing of the past.
Do not let that happen.
Really you can ditch most juices.
Apple juice every once in a blue moon is fine.
OJ here and there is fine.
Milk in moderation alright.
But no your child should not drink these things all day long.
Water is what your child needs.
If you never started offering the others than likely your child drinks water well.
However, if the sweet tooth has already developed you are going to have a tougher time.
Either way it is important that your child drinks enough water each day and that they understand why it is an important aspect of being healthy.
Teach Your Kid Self Care Habits With Our Article:
Once you have ditched the concentrated juice drinks, start using smoothies to give your child a true juice drink.
Smoothies are cool because you can sneak a lot of nutrition into one glass.
I find that children are more receptive to drinking smoothies if they are not drinking concentrated juice drinks all day.
The sweetness that comes from a fresh smoothie is more appealing to them when they have been weaned from concentrated forms of juice.
It really comes down to sugar.
There are natural sugars in fruit that your child will learn to enjoy as you replace the refined sugars for concentrated drinks.
So go to smoothies to provide a fresh fruit juice as a healthy snack or paired with a meal.
How To Raise A Kid with Good Eating Habits?
Raising a healthy eater is no easy task.
It does require effort and a commitment to preparing fresh whole food ingredients to create delicious meals that your family will enjoy and look forward to.
You will have to be consistent and stand your ground when your in the trenches of tantrums.
However, know that this is one of the most beautiful gifts you can give your family.
To raise a healthy eater is so much more than just having a child who eats their vegetables.
It is about raising someone with the intention of teaching them where their food comes from, how food is connected to health, and how their food choices impact every part of life around them.
Related Articles For Feeding Your Family: