I recently read an article that I would like to share with you about sneaking veggies into kids meals. The article, is opposed to the idea of hiding healthy foods. And I agree with all of her points. I, just like the author, have always disliked the idea of kid-specific foods or kid menus. Children are capable of eating whatever we, as adults, are eating. There is no reason for them to have to eat something separate. If you are cooking special things for your child then you are either: A) creating more work for yourself by making more than one version of a meal at mealtimes or B) you are eating “kid’s foods” because you don’t want to go through the hassel of making two different meals and you are also C) limiting your child’s variety of foods. None of these are good things. But I am not opposed to sneaking in healthy foods. I do think you should always offer real adult food to kids, but I don’t see anything wrong with adding extra veggies into the food you make. For example, mixing cauliflower into ground beef or shredding vegetables into baked goods.
The problem with sneaking in healthy foods is that often times parents will not offer a variety of foods and they use very unhealthy vessels.
My stance: always offer the veggies, but sneaking a little more in can’t hurt.
Please read the article here. And here are some more of my thoughts on healthy eating for kids. Because I just can’t help myself.
You should cook, real, whole, nutritious meals for the whole family. No substitutions. This may be challenging at first, if you have picky eaters, but it will get better. Your little one may declare they are going to die the first 10 times you serve kale, but research shows that it takes up to 10 tries before a child can decide if they like a food or not. So on time 11, kale may be their new favorite food.
No substitutions doesn’t mean no choices. In fact choices are your best weapon. When you are planning your meals, involve your kids. Give them a choice of vegetables to eat at dinner that night. When kids make choices they feel more in control, not like they are being forced to eat something. You should also involve you kids in cooking and meal prep as much as possible. It is almost guaranteed that they will try something that they helped create. Especially if you show how amazed you are at how good of a chef your child is.
Make sure you model healthy eating, keep meal time positive and don’t force feed. Instead, offer everything and talk with your child about what the food is, how it tastes and how much you like it. Lastly, never use rewards, especially desert. If you use rewards for finishing a meal or part of a meal then it reinforces the idea in your child’s head that what you are trying to get them to eat must be really bad.
I could go on forever but I’ll just give you a few more links instead.