My son has been a great eater from day #1. His favorite foods as a toddler (and still today) were fruits and vegetables. Black olives are his go-to snack. It was easy to incorporate him into our eating, since he would basically eat anything. Life got a whole lot more complicated with the arrival of baby #2. She was not a great eater when it came to healthy stuff. She LOVED baked goods. She loved yogurt & cheese. She would sooner have poked her own eyes out than eat a carrot or tomato, though. How did I go wrong? How could nothing I made of the healthy persuasion appeal to her? I was stuck. Baby #3 came along soon after #2, so making more than one meal was just not going to be an option. So, I had to figure things out fast. How could I get #2 to eat whatever was presented to her? Read on.
Start Right Now
We are what we eat. Every once in a while, donuts are ok for breakfast. But, we need to grow our Littles healthy & strong. Get rid of the junk (or at least get it out of sight). Start eliminating the choice of not-so-healthy foods. Make them a special occasion treat. With #2, I started making her rewards food related. I was creating a monster. So, I stopped. Start making healthy choices the only options. Fill up the lunch plate with options: black olives, grape tomato, cheese cubes, whole wheat pasta spirals. Whatever floats your boat. Just leave out the treats.
You do not have to have breakfast foods for breakfast. And you can have breakfast foods for dinner. One of my kid’s favorite dinners is hardboiled eggs (AKA sponge eggs from my kids), turkey sausage, and frozen blueberries. And breakfast can be grilled cheese and a mix of fresh veggies. I also will make muffins with a spinach puree or sweet potato puree hidden inside. At least I can feel better about their treats.
If you fold within the first meal, and give in to their wishes (and by wishes, I mean tantrum), then they will learn how to get what they want. The same way we face disciplining our kids, we have to adopt to how we feed them. Our consistency will show them that “this is how and what we eat.” Period. Reward them with some sprinkles on their yogurt, or a dollop of whipped cream with their fresh fruits.
Give Them Options
If your kid hates black olives, and refuses to do anything with them aside from launching them across the room, back off the black olives. But replace them with something else. My kids hate oatmeal. It triggers gags from them. So, I don’t serve them oatmeal. But, I make oat flour from whole oats & incorporate it into my muffin baking. There are so many nutrition websites out there, so use them to find categories of vitamins our kids need. Try a variety of different things. But, don’t overwhelm them. Try the same few foods for a few days. Boring? Maybe. But consistency is key. And if they won’t try them at breakfast, maybe lunch will be a success.
Try these tips out to get your picky little angel to try some different healthy foods. Use my advice as you will to incorporate ideas into your day-to-day eating and meal planning. Don’t give up! You can do this. After all, we are bigger than them!