I had a friend ask me about what my kids eat, and wondering how to get them to switch to real, whole food. That’s a great question, and one in which is a daily struggle for me.
When my kids were babies, it was so easy to feed them organic, whole food. I would give them everything on the list of foods they should have every day. Not sure where I read that particular list, but I remember saving it to my phone and pulling it up often. It comprised salmon, blueberries, sweet potatoes, oats, avocado and a few others.
At every meal I feel like I won. They would eat, and eat well.
Aaaannnnddd now they’re toddlers.
And they don’t eat.
It’s like they set up a pretend picket line before I ever set down their plates. Very few things are actually ever consumed for dinner. I don’t make them a separate meal, so they have to at least try one bite of each item we are having. That can even be a battle.
I KNOW I’m not the only one who struggles with this. I’ve read blogs dedicated to this stuff. I’ve had Facebook posts where friends helped me with amazing tips and tricks they’ve tried with their kids.
My bottom line is this: it’s all about moderation. Everything in my life is about moderation. I can’t feed them all homemade, organic food all of the time. I don’t ever plan to do that either. Mac and cheese has a time and a place, and sometimes, that’s once a week when I want a break from cooking and we head out to a restaurant.
But that’s not why you’re reading this blog. I’m sure if you’re reading this, you want good, healthy options for your kids. And so do I, so if you can, leave a comment after you’re done reading and let me know what has worked for you!
In the meantime, I was able to snap a few pictures of foods my kids eat when they’re at home, and I made a list of quick, easy-peasy, non-processed snacks that I feed my two littles. It’s also food that I like to have on hand for me and the hubby too, so it’s a win/win.
Here is a sample day in my house:
Breakfast: Paleo/Gluten free pancakes topped with grass-fed butter, almond or peanut butter and Grade B pure, maple syrup (like this). *Pancakes are made with coconut flour, cinnamon, vanilla, banana, apple cider vinegar, coconut milk and eggs. Pretty sure the recipe was from Nom Nom Paleo, but can’t remember for sure, Google paleo pancakes and a bunch pop up.
And no, I don’t make them everyday; I usually make up a batch and store in the freezer.
Mid-morning snack: Fig Bars. My son loves these, my daughter, not so much. She still eats organic pouches. They both eat fruit.
Lunch: Almond butter and honey sandwich, fruit, carrot sticks, cucumber slices, avocado (if I’m lucky). They also will eat grass-fed beef hot dogs, nitrite/nitrate free salami,
Afternoon snack: Peeled apples, kale chips, green drinks, organic graham crackers, yogurt on occasion.
Dinner: Whatever we eat, but it’s usually a clean protein, veggie and a carb. They have to try one bite. If they don’t like it, we save it for them and they can come back to it and eat it before bed. It’s their choice. Typically it’s like pulling teeth to get them to eat the veggies. Carbs are sometimes ok, but they usually will eat the protein.
Here is the list of snacks I usually have on hand:
1. Hardboiled eggs
2. Fruit – lots of bananas
5. Organic crackers
6. Popcorn (non GMO)
8. Grass-fed hot dogs
9. Nuts and nut butters
It’s not pretty everyday, and I just try my best. I’ve cut down the amount of processed food they eat at home and watch for added sugar, hidden sodium, and all sorts of other chemicals that manufacturers add to food. I read lots of labels, stay away from GMO corn and soy, and NO food dye. I’ve cut back on dairy (no milk), but they still eat cheese and yogurt. And I’ve significantly cut back on gluten, but they still have wheat.
It’s a work in progress. I keep trying. I keep failing. They don’t like a lot of things right now, but I’ve limited their choices, so they are eating better stuff when they are hungry. Today my son reached for my steamed broccoli and mustard (try it) and ate it. He didn’t come back for more, but he didn’t spit it out either. I consider that a win.