Have I become one of those militant moms regarding my kids that their sugar intake? Say it ain’t so!! I like to think of myself as a mom who is driven to get my family to eat a well-balanced diet. I’m not a party pooper… I promise!! I’m just a realist. I’m real in the fact that if I give my children a plethora of borderline junky snacks or sugary treats, life as we know it now will cease to exist. Every mealtime would become a battle. Think toddler Godzilla… Okay not that dramatic, but you get the picture 😉 Maybe it’s a little like my reasoning for not allowing soda in the house. I don’t want a bunch of sugar around because then I will be tempted to enjoy it a little too much myself. That paired with the reality that when Mabel has too much sugar, the chances that toddler Godzilla will make an appearance are pretty high. So what does a Mama do in a world filled full of sugary treats? You gotta get creative! Nobody wants to eat boring and bland food. A great way is to engage your kids in healthy eating is by starting at the beginning. Teach them where their food comes from. We had a garden this summer and the girls LOVED it. They were quite the fruit & veg picking pros by the end of the growing season. So much so, we even took them apple picking after Labor Day. Which was great in itself, but also created a fun annual family tradition. Speaking of apples and being creative, here is a yummy post I did about healthy apple snacks .
Which brings me to another great way of engaging your kids to eat healthy, and that’s by including them in the kitchen . I promise this is a perfect way to get less adventurous eaters (AKA picky) to try new things. Yes, it requires additional time and patience but the payoff is wonderful. Mabel even tried winter squash soup because I had her as my able-bodied sous chef, helping me scoop out squash and pressing the appropriate buttons (adult supervised of course) on the blender. She would have never tried it if she hadn’t helped me make it.
A great way to engage your kids in healthy eating is by starting at the beginning...
Another way I stack the cards in my favor of healthy eating, and I’m not ashamed to admit it, is by complete trickery. This Mom will feed you vegetables by any means necessary! I am not afraid to be as sneaky as possible. As a matter of fact, I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to my culinary treachery. I even have an amazing recipe for one ingredient ice cream and it’s soo Yummy!
Last but not least, the most important trick is walking the walk. Are YOU eating your veggies? Our kids are little sponges and we are reminded constantly by their behavior and words how much they model after us. If we don’t eat healthy and balanced, how do you think they will? I have to constantly remind myself of this.
Now I’m not saying to be a complete sugar grinch. That is unrealistic and unhealthy in the other direction when considering the goal of balanced eating. Like this amazin g recipe for pecan bars for instance. Trust me when I say, I do love a good sweet treat…Who doesn’t?! Finding that healthy balance in feeding your family is every parent’s sweet spot.
Do you have any tricky tricks for getting your kids to eat their vegetables?