"The only thing she really will even look at is yogurt and chicken fingers and fish sticks!" says Circle of Moms member Teresa S. of her toddler. Does this sound like you? Many grown ups have trouble with getting their kids to eat healthy foods. Perhaps it is the fear that they will starve or that there will be a tantrum. If this sounds like you, read on.
Hot dogs, greasy grilled cheese, pasta drowning in butter, chicken fingers... These are the foods labeled kid food? These foods are what comprise a kids menu or kids food? Who decided that? Shouldn't kid food be nutrition rich, protein packed, vitamin filled, food to help growing bodies, um, well, grow? Real food. Ya know. The food that is NOT made in a lab or does not contain ingredients with 28 letters. The idea that grilled chicken, whole wheat pasta with vegetables, and turkey sandwiches are not kids food is preposterous. Growing bodies need nutrients, not grease, fake food, and fat.
So what to do? Just do not buy it. Do not have chicken fingers in your house, or pizza bites, or fish sticks. Make your own grilled chicken fingers. Have a “Make your own pizza night” with a pizza bar full of real and fresh ingredients. Bake your own home made fish sticks.
As we all know, eating at home is not always an option and a night out to dinner can be a fun excursion. When you do venture out with your family, order healthier items off of the menu. Steer clear of the "Children's Menu" and focus on the “Grown Up Menu” where there are more fresh options to choose from.
As your children grow into eating solid foods, do not start them on processed foods. If children are not exposed to processed and fat filled foods they will not eat or crave them. Do not fall prey to fast food or frozen foods speed, or your friend’s pressures about saving time, or a title given on a menu. If you have “Kid’s Food” in your home, get it out. Your family can begin healthy eating anytime. It is never too late. Oh, and healthy eating habits do include treats here and there. Enjoy some ice cream, take out pizza, a burger, a cookie, or some pie from time to time with your kids. Treats are great. But when it comes to daily meal times, the food should be of the healthy, muscle building varieties. Give it a try. Your future grown up kids will thank you.
Brandi Davis is a professional Parenting Coach with a Bachelors of Science in Child Development and Family Studies, and 14 years of teaching experience. Her book, O.K. I’m A Parent Now What? is a compilation of articles touching on a myriad of child rearing topics such as parent-child communication, quick dinners, tantrums, how to get your kids to listen, productive discipline and much more, and will help parents find new ways to get what they need accomplished without all of the tantrums and power struggles that create conflicts within the family.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.