Kids-health is a site packed with hints and tips to keep you and the family healthy.
Healthy Eating For Our Children
When I was growing up my parents made us finish everything on our plates and we were required to eat some of everything served. While I understand their motivation I question their technique. I know they were worried about us getting all our nutritional needs met. There were three siblings and none of us were particularly picky eaters. Everyone has favorite foods and not so favorite foods, like peas for example. Not one of my favorites when I was a child but I ate practically every other vegetable.
If a child eats one or two vegetables but does not care for any of the others when they are young, the best thing to do is serve them the vegetables they like. Now, in saying that, I am not suggesting that you never offer them other vegetables to try periodically as they are growing up. Our taste buds change over time and things that we do not like as children we often develop a liking for as adults. Case in point, I now like an occasional pea even though at times I sat at the table for over an hour staring at them on my plate.
I have two children myself and they both went through periods of time that they would only eat certain things. If the things they like are even semi-healthy then I am of the school of thought that this is what you should serve them, even if they eat the same thing every day. One day they will tire of eating the same thing over and over. My daughter at around age three would only eat chicken legs, beets, green beans, corn on the cob, and black olives. Weird as it sounds that is all she ate. When we traveled we had to make sure we knew where to stop for these items or we would take them with us. It seemed like a balanced meal to me and the doctor said it was fine. She ate that way for months!
My son was even harder because he was a sandwich lover: meat and mayo, and the meat being mostly bologna. If given his way he would have lived on sandwiches and still would to this day. He would eat meat loaf, mashed potatoes, corn, and green beans. He would also eat chicken legs, macaroni and cheese, and beets.
I know there are children that will not eat any vegetables at all and some that eat very little. Thankfully in our world today there are ready made drinks that supplement the diet that do not taste too awfully bad. There are also fruit flavored vegetable drinks that you can offer your children. Adding vitamins to your children’s daily routines is always a good idea while they are going through the picky eating stage.
Another suggestion is to make sure your children get plenty of exercise and outdoor play time. It will help to increase their appetites which in turn will hopefully tempt them to eat more.
Something I have done, especially with my son, is to sneak vegetables into foods he likes. Since he loves macaroni and cheese I usually try to mix a little broccoli into it by cutting the broccoli very small, not adding so much that the taste is overwhelming but enough to get the beneficial nutrients. Just about anything covered in cheese he will eat. Since he will eat meat loaf (even though it has to be covered in ketchup) I add green beans cut smaller into the loaf itself. He does like green beans but often he will only eat a couple and get full on the meat and potatoes. Another thing I have found just recently that he will eat is chicken fried rice with peas (or sometimes frozen mixed peas and carrots). He loves it and does not mind the peas as long as there are not so many that they overpower the dish. It is so simple to make too. It is a great way to use up leftovers as well.
One thing I have learned with children and eating is that you have to be flexible and inventive. It is important that they get proper nutrition but I believe that when it comes down to a battle of the will it is better dealt with by being creative rather than going to all out war. If they will eat some vegetables and foods but not all then you are ahead of the game. If they will eat nothing then it is important to keep offering up new foods or new ways of creating the same foods. Using supplements is always a good idea until they get beyond this picky stage. It may look bleak for a while but if you can hang in there they will make it through to adulthood.
Ken Myers is the founder of http://www.longhornleads.com/ & has learned over the years the importance of focusing on what the customer is looking for and literally serving it to them. He doesn’t try to create a need, instead he tries to satisfy the existing demand for information on products and services.