Friday, December 5, 2008

Getting children to eat Healthy!

Getting kids to love healthy foods

When my boys were little, I did not want to make special foods for each of them, so I figured out ways to get them to like foods we liked.

I always used to grind up the foods I cooked for them as baby food, so they were used to real food all along.

They love broccoli and when they went to school in early elem school years, I packed broccoli and carrots in their lunch box. A mom of one of my son's friends came up to me and said, "what is the secret to getting your son to eat broccoli. My son came home and said, Alex eats yukky broccoli everyday." I always made food fun...they could play with their food, as long as they ate it. We would pretend the broccoli was trees and they were dinosaurs and would bite the top off the tree. I also used their liking of broccoli to get them to eat spinach. I always use fresh and frozen spinach, never ever ever ever canned, that is just gross mush. I told them the spinach was broccoli chopped up, they liked it.

I would put smiley faces on hard boiled eggs and we called them Happy Eggs. This made it fun for them (we would make funny faces, etc) and I could also distinguish the cooked eggs from the raw ones.

When I made "meatloaf" I made meat muffins. I would make the meat loaf and sometimes chop veggies and put them in the mixture, and make them in muffin can put a slice in cheese in the middle for a fun dairy kids loved them. I still do this occasionally, as not only are they fun to eat, but they cook faster than a loaf pan of meat loaf.

If you get kids to try things over and over, they develop a liking for it eventually. If my kids say they don't like something, such as sauerkraut, which we here in PA Dutch Country eat every year on New Years Day, I make them eat one spoonful. I did this with Brussels sprouts, and they eat them.
My children have very grown up tastes buds, but even as babies, I just ground up what we ate.

I always chopped veggies up and put it in my kids foods, long before Seinfeld's wife did this. I think all moms did this. She just happened to have the connections to make money on the old idea.

Any food, cooked properly is good food. My kids love zucchini, but we make it into mock crab cakes, or we grill it on the grill with some seasonings. If you make it bland, they will not eat it. You have to find spices they like and use them on veggies to make them taste good.

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