Listen and tell me if any of these things I’ve said sound familiar to you.

“Eat your veggies and you can have dessert”.

“You have to eat that, don’t waste it.  I worked hard to get dinner on the table for you.”

” You’re so lucky you have food, some kids are so poor they don’t even have enough food”

“Johnny ate his veggies and he is growing up so strong.”

“Clean your plate or else there will be NO dessert for YOU!”

As parents, we try to force our children to eat healthier by bribing them, threatening, pressuring, and even making them feel guilt or shame.

I know because I’ve said all of these things before and my kid’s just would not listen.

I said what I thought was going to get my kids to eat healthier and I was never being heard, none of it worked and I didn’t realize I was hurting instead of helping my children.

I feel really bad admitting that I tried any of these eating tactics on my kids, but I was desperate and I didn’t know what else to do.

We get so desperate for our kids to eat healthier or “just eat” that we fail to see the big picture and the negative consequences that our actions can have over the long-term.

Most of us don’t even know that there are any negative consequences from our “Eat that or else…!” comments.

Let’s admit it, our parents and  grandparents forced us to  to finish everything on our plate especially at dinner.

We become parents so we do the same.

We even portion and plate meals for our kids to make sure that they eat a well balanced diet.

But pressuring our kids to eat healthier doesn’t help them eat healthy today and especially not later in life when we’re not around to nag them.

Force feeding and our negative comments lead to unhealthy food habits that can lead to an eating disorder, not eating or overeating.

“We actually destroy our kid’s ability to listen their body’s internal hunger cues and to know whether they are really hungry or full.”

Once you listen to yourself and realize that sounding like a broken record is not working and even hurting your child, you can stop.


Listen To New Ideas

I know it can be hard to listen when you’re in the thick of things.

I’m here to share that when I finally stopped and listened, my kids finally ate healthier!

Here is what I did and what I recommend as your Transformational Nutrition Coach specializing in the psychology of eating.

Ask your kids what some of their favorite foods are.

Let them know you are really listening by repeating some of their favorite foods to them and getting curious about them.

“That’s interesting that you like shrimp.”

“Why do you like shrimp so much?”

This simple conversation will show your child you value them and their opinions.


Meal Plan Based on Listening

While you are meal planning, ask and listen to what kinds of food your child would like for dinner during the week.

Share your Meal Planning calendar with your kids so that they can get excited that you’re making some of their favorites.

For example, your child likes shrimp, make the healthiest kid-friendly shrimp dinner by searching “shrimp” in or following the recipe I have for you below!

We use real food in the healthiest, most delicious and simple ways so that you can feel good that shrimp is a lean protein that boosts your child’s brain power with it’s Omega-3’s and gives you the energy boost you need to keep cooking healthy meals for your “soon-to-be” non-picky eater.


Shrimp is an excellent source of lean protein and minerals like zinc and selenium


Serve Dinner Family Style

You’re not setting up an “all you can eat” dessert bar for dinner, so you can show your kids that you are always listening to what they like by letting them serve their own plate.

Remember, you’re setting healthy and delicious food choices on the table so there is no harm in letting them serve themselves.

Lead By Example

I do recommend that you serve yourself first, so that your children can listen to the positive comments you make about dinner.

“This looks delicious.  I’m glad I found this new recipe with your favorite shrimp in it.  I can’t wait to try it.”

All positive and non-pressuring comments that your kids can just overhear you say.

Kids are ALWAYS listening and when you say “that didn’t turn out like the picture”, “I don’t like red onions but, I’ll try them”, these are all red flags of resistance that will fuel your picky eater.

Only share “true” and genuine positive comments.



Dinner is Self Serve

At first, your kids may only serve their favorite food items on their plate and that’s okay.

Resist the controlling comments, “This is supposed to be a salad”.

The kids have seen your plate and how it’s “supposed” to be made.

Kids serving their own plate is an easy strategy to let your kids know you’re listening and it’s how they start to eat healthier on their own.
Children feel better and eat better when they know they are in control and in charge of choosing their own food.

Remember, you only set out healthy and delicious “real food” on the table and there are no junk food options here.

Make sure there is no junk food in the house so that no one is crying for or tempted to reach for them during or after dinner.

And, if your child just chooses to only serve themselves shrimp and carrots, you know the shrimp is good for their brain and the carrots are powerful antioxidants to keep their blood sugar regulated and boost their immune system.

Real Food has your back, mama!

Carrots are rich

Make Time to Listen

The more you listen to your kids, consistently set healthy meals on the table and let them serve themselves, the healthier they will eat on their own.

The time you put into making healthy meals will fly by and soon you’ll even wish the kids stopped eating all of your good food.

My kids took this week’s NEW Shrimp and Broccoli Recipe leftovers for lunch and I was bummed they didn’t save any for me!

Next time, I’ll make a double batch!

Keeping the salad ingredients separate, actually kept this dish fresher longer.

The kids picked the broccoli out of the shrimp, to serve it as a side and made their own shrimp salad.  BIg sister sliced the strawberries for them and school lunch was done!


Shrimp and Broccoli Salad

The fresher and cleaner your ingredients, the better healthy food tastes and the healthier it is for you!


This lettuce was like a huge bouquet from my Orange Home Grown Farmers Market. Find your local Farmers Market here.



I got my shrimp from Whole Foods Market Irvine because it was on sale as a local manager special and I appreciate their high quality, sustainable seafood standards.


This recipe saves you time, because all you have to cook is the shrimp and broccoli (together) and they cook fast, making this a great busy weeknight dinner.


This clean, sugar free and detoxing salad dressing was a hit! (I did not add the hot sauce and after tasting it, I made a double batch for the week).

The kid’s didn’t serve the dressing on their plate the first time.

They ate it off my plate because they overheard me telling my husband that this is one of my new favorite dressings that I can put on any salad.

I get my Tahini, sesame seed butter, from here.




With or without shrimp this salad and the dressing are a well balanced, detoxing and filling meal with the protein from the eggs.

Shrimp and Broccoli Salad
Looking for perfect kid-friendly salad? This broccoli and shrimp salad recipe with a sugar free and detoxing Tahini sauce is light and refreshing.
Servings Prep Time
4persons 10minutes
Cook Time
Servings Prep Time
4persons 10minutes
Cook Time
  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat coconut oil. To the skillet add the broccoli and shrimp. Cook for 10 minutes, until broccoli is bright green and slightly tender and shrimp is pink and curled into a "c" shape. Season the mixture with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the broccoli and shrimp with the next 6 ingredients (lettuce through carrots).
  3. In a small bowl, mix the remaining ingredients and sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Pour the dressing over the salad, toss and serve.
Recipe Notes

Looking for a new way to enjoy a fresh, sugar-free, and dairy-free salad?

Try our FREE TRIAL @


Here’s what the complete recipe looks like.

Share what your salad ended up looking like.  Because I want to hear and bet it was GOOD!


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Elaine De Santos

Wife & Mommy | Transformational Nutrition Coach | Family Health Expert at Family For Health & Healthy Family Meal Plans
I am a wife who loves falling in love with her husband over and over again! I am a stay-at-home mommy to a sweet girl with a big heart and an energetic boy with a zest for life.

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.

1. Many of the links on this site are affiliate links which means that we get a small commission should you purchase something upon clicking on the link. This has no impact on your cost. For this, I thank you very much for helping us to keep this site free of ads. Of course, we wouldn't recommend anything unless we wholeheartedly believed in it.
2. The statements made here have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure or prevent any disease. This notice is required by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
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