Most of us mom’s share a common struggle – getting our kids to eat nourishing foods. It’s so common in fact that there are entire groups, blogs, and books dedicated to helping us desperate moms. Finding successful ways to incorporate healthy foods into my own kid’s diet is an ongoing challenge. I’ll share with you a few ideas though that I’ve found helpful to incorporate more nourishing foods into their diets.
And, a word of encouragement! Don’t grow weary in doing good fellow mommas, our little ones will thanks us later! I pray these simple tips help you gain a little ground in the crusade to nourish your family well!
For the purpose of nourishing your family, you officially have permission to be as sneaky as possible! I “hide” nourishing additions in almost everything I make my kids. I would start with minimal additions while their tastes adjust. Then, you can gradually add more and more sneaky foods into the things you already serve them. For example, adding things like spinach, zucchini, squash, sweet potatoes, fruits, and healthy oils are great places to start because they all have fairly neutral flavors and easily mix into the foods they are added to. I add a finely shredded zucchini to almost every baked good I ever make. Adding spinach to chocolatey baked goods adds nutrition but hides the green color. Get creative, you’ll be amazed at how many opportunities there are to sneak a veggie or two into most of the foods you cook!
Make it fun!
Let’s face it, when things are fun kids are much more inclined to be open-minded. I’ve discovered that my kids will eat more veggies simply by making them more fun. Some of the ways I’ve found most successful are to cut them with fun shaped cookie cutters and having them make veggie kababs. Another huge success has been leveraging my daughters desire to help in the kitchen. Chopping veggies is her “job”. I can’t believe how much more inclined she is to eat the foods she’s prepared herself. I also find that if veggies are presented to them on a different fun plate, with interesting things to dip them in they are more enthusiastic about eating them. As far as dips, we’ve tried a LOT of interesting sauces and dips. Some of the most successful are the most surprising! Among them are sunflower butter, spicy mustard, hot sauce, sweet & spicy Asian sauces, and of course ranch dressing.
These work well because they're really little, I bought them on Amazon
I used to get so frustrated listening to my friends talk about how their kids would drink smoothies filled with goodness and wonder why in the world my kids wouldn’t touch them. My kids have never liked smoothies, but they do like popsicles! I had an “ah-ha” moment one day as I nearly dumped yet another wasted smoothie attempt down the drain. I thought, “I wonder if they’d eat it if I froze it?” Success! Now, I simply pour smoothies (the most popular are banana, spinach, orange or chocolate, peanut butter, spinach, banana) into popsicle molds.
The molds pictured work well, I bought them at Walmart, but these are actually my favorite, available from Amazon
Let them choose.
Adults and kids alike feel empowered when they’re able to choose what to put into their bodies. And, while there is a time and place to make eating nourishing foods fun, the reality is that sometimes fruits and veggies just have to be quick and easy and a necessary part of a meal. For that reason, I always keep washed and pre-cut veggies in the fridge (part of why meal prepping is so important!). At lunch and dinner having a vegetable is not an option, but choosing which ones is totally up to them. Having veggies sliced and ready to eat makes it easy for them and they enjoy having the freedom to choose for themselves what they’d like to eat.
I hope these simple tips help you feed your family well. What are your most successful tips? I’d love to hear from you!