Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tips on Tuesday- Fruits, vegetables and the kids that don't want them!

I am trying to have a daily theme...we will see how long I can keep that up!!

Nutrition is very near and dear to my family. We strive to teach the kids about healthy eating without being overly neurotic about it. We are looking for the balance of healthy foods and not so healthy stuff. I know that if we are too restrictive ( as my single parent dad was...my first taste of sugar cereal was in the 6th grade at a friends house) it could backfire. On the flip -side if we are too leiniet with goodies the kids will get the wrong idea as well. Finding the middle ground is very important to us.

Miles is 20 months and eats just about anything you put in front of him. So far so good. I know his habits will change, but it's nice that he is not picky.

5 year old Amara is another story all together! She knows what she likes and thinks she knows what she does not like! She likes green veggies; broccoli, spinach, romaine lettuce, green beans and fresh asparagus. She is not too keen on carrots or anything in the squash family! Her tastes have changed through the years. She now likes strawberries and bananas. She normally gets 2 fruits and 2 veggies a day; along with a half serving of 100% fruit juice.

Some tips I can offer to help make mealtime less stressful. We have done or still do these things for Amara.

Giving her the veggies before the main course.

Letting her pick out what fruit/veggie we eat for dinner. ( letting her choose between 2 foods)

Letting her pick the seasoning for her veggies.

Giving her a dip for her carrots--works every time! I also let her count out the carrots-- she has eaten 10 baby carrots at one meal before!

Incorporating fruits in the dessert. This week it has been strawberry shortcake!

When we do get fast food; she eats a serving of veggies before she gets the junk food.

In the end it is up to the caregiver to provide a variety of nutritious foods for their kids and to also be a role model. I guess that means I have to start eating bananas and peas! Yuck! :)

What tips do you have to share? I would love to learn some new tactics!


LISA said...

Me being such a fruit and veggie freak makes it super hard for me to understand why my children don't want to eat anything except corn! My daughter will eat apples and the occasional grape, she will also eat brocolli every now and again. That's about it though. My son...he will eat corn. I actually SMOTHERED a banana in chocolate once and forced him to eat it! I was AMAZED that he was so against eating it! Anyway...now I resort to the old chop it up and hide it tactic. I'll make them quesadillas with chicken and cheese...but, I'll also chop up some veggies really small and put them in there. Or carrot cake muffins. What kid is gonna care if it's got carrots in it when it's covered with that DELISH FROSTING!!! I have also recently discovered that if I let my little boy try a baby carrot or a piece of brocolli from the "bulk bin" in the produce section he is more apt to want them! Yes...right there, in the store...without buying it! I will take ONE baby carrot, or ONE small piece of brocolli and let him eat it..or I'll pop off a grape and let him taste it. So far, so good. He's beginning to like more and more things. Now, I just have to get him to eat the stuff at HOME and not just in the produce section of Stater Bros!!!

vanessa40 said...

You are a great mom. Letting Amara pick the seasoning for her veggies is a great idea. I love strawberries too...