Picky eaters and hectic schedules can make meal planning feel overly complicated. Here are some low stress strategies to help kids get the nutrients they need, and one recipe they’ll be sure to love!
Know What is Your Job and What is the Kids’.
Parents/guardians are responsible for shopping for food, preparing the food, providing regular meals at set times, and making eating times enjoyable.
Kids are responsible for deciding whether to eat, deciding which available foods to eat, and deciding how much to eat.
Be a Role Model.
Just like kids copy your words, they’ll mimic your behavior. They may even pay more attention to what you do than what you say. Eat slowly. Eat at the table, together, undistracted. Be open to trying new foods, flavors and cuisines. Eat a variety of color of fruits and vegetables often. Focus on foods that are nutritious and make you feel good.
Connect Food to Superpowers.
Kids are more likely to make good choices if they know why it matters in a way that is relevant to them. Educate kids about how the right foods will turn them into a super kid.
Protein rich food like eggs, meat and beans help your muscles get stronger!
Healthy carbs like potatoes and rice give you energy so you can play hard!
Colorful vegetables like carrots, broccoli, red peppers and spinach make your eyes healthy and keep you from getting sick!
Healthy fats like avocados, seeds and olive oil help your brain develop and make you smarter!
Ask for Input.
Sometimes picky eating is less about food than control. Asking for kids’ ideas ensures they get foods they like, plus it gives them a chance to feel in charge. Try asking “I’m going to the grocery store this week; what foods would you like?” or “Let’s look at these vegetables, which one are you willing to try?” and “Let’s look through this cookbook together, which recipe do you want to help me make?”
Try this Monster Smoothie for breakfast this week, your kids will be sure to love it!
- 1 frozen banana
- 1/2c vanilla Greek yogurt
- 1 handful spinach
- 1 tbsp peanut butter
- A few ice cubes
- Water or almond milk to thin
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth and bright green. If your kids wrinkle their nose at the color, tell them it’s what monsters drink!