Oh, do I have war stories about how hard it was to get my processed food-loving family eating healthy.
My toddler was hooked on Toddler Rice Puffs and finger cereals that the pediatrician told me to give to him to help him develop his motor skills.
My little pre-kindergartner was hooked on orange bunny crackers and animal cookies. I figured she was at school and needed to have “easy snacks” available to her.
When I started to take away the processed foods, all war broke out. Those fine motor skills that the kids were building turned into Ninja skills that were over-powering me at the dinner table.
Several times I gave in and several times I gave up.
But then… I became a peaceful warrior and even a revolutionary for HEALTH.
…AND my children were shockingly open to the peaceful and loving ways that I was introducing them to eating real and healthy foods.
5 shocking Tips that will help you get your kids to finally eat healthy!
- Let the kids plan Meals
- Let the Kids do the shopping
- Let the kids do the cooking
- Let the kids serve themselves
- Let the kids do the dinner table talking
I told you these tips would be shocking. You might think my mommy brain has gone crazy. But, stick with me because these tips do actually WORK!
Speaking of work, let’s just take a minute to appreciate some of the tips on this list. Doesn’t it sound like every mothers dream?…
Less work for mom and dad!
No meal planning, no shopping, no cooking and no serving everyone in the house sounds like a DREAM to me.
At the same time, you an I are parents and we know this also sounds impossible and if we left all of this to our children it would be a processed food-filled nightmare!
I’ve got your back here. Stick with me and I’ll explain.
Then you’ll HAVE TO tell me what you think! I can’t wait to hear which of these ideas you will use, after you get over your initial shock. 🙂
Let the kids plan meals
Ok, I’m not saying “every” meal because my kids would also plan for us to have pizza and cookies every night.
Give them a night of the week to plan out the dinner menu.
When you ask for your child’s opinion on what the family should eat for dinner, you are validating your child, recognizing that what they think is important and you’re really boosting their self esteem and confidence not just for that day but for life!
As parents we often listen to our children’s needs but we don’t always listen to their desires.
Ask your child to help you meal plan a dinner menu and kindly help guide them so that you’re not just having chocolate cake for dinner.
Let the kids do the shopping
Kids in a grocery store… Get me out of there!
But, wait, when you’re committed to eating healthier, you’re only shopping the outer perimeters (the outer sides) of the store where there are no boxes with characters on them that you’re kids will be begging you for or sneaking into the cart.
The perimeter of the grocery store is where you’ll find your healthy produce and proteins.
Be sure to have a grocery list before you go to the market. You and your kids can can get out of there a lot faster with a list. Ask them to please bag a few things from the list. They’ll be quick to help because they don’t want to be there either!
Let the kids do the cooking
Don’t worry. The house will still be left standing because you will always keep the kids and the the house safe under adult supervision.
Based on their age and abilities, invite your children into the kitchen at the earliest age possible. Toddlers love to wash produce, young children will want to figure out how a vegetable peeler works, older children can help with anything as long as you don’t tell them to do it 🙂
Be polite and ask them “Would you please do me a favor…” or “Would you please help me…” Inviting your children into the kitchen to help with any of the cooking process leads to them learning how to cook healthy meals for life.
In our modern society, we forget the importance of knowing that basic survival skill called “cooking”.
Let the kids serve themselves
Family Thanksgiving spreads are so inviting not just because there is a huge amount of food on the table, but because most of the recipes are hand picked with care, cooked with love and presented with joy.
That’s what happens when you make food a celebration and you follow tips 1 to 3 and serve meals family style.
Allowing your children to serve themselves is setting them up with a positive relationship with food and with a positive psychology of eating food.
Let the kids do the dinner table talking
We all say we wish we had more “family time”. Make dinner time family time and let your children lead the dinner table conversation.
Just get curious and ask them open ended questions about them.
You’ll hear things that will tell you a lot about who your child is and you’ll bond over all of it.
You’ll celebrate the good and you’ll work through the bad, but there will no longer be food fights at the dinner table!
I too was shocked when these tips worked and finally helped the kids, and even our whole family, to stick with eating healthy without any of the food fights.
Which of the 5 tips will you start with? Be sure to come back and let us know in the comments below.
I’m addicted to cooking real foods and shopping locally at Farmer’s Markets.I am a health revolutionary who is writing this blog with a desire to “pay it forward in health”.This desire stems from love and my pursuit to make a difference in people’s health and wellbeing”.
I am a certified Transformational Nutrition Coach that helps women discover their healthy lifestyle that finally works so that they can transform into the healthy sexy and confident woman they want, and are meant to be.
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