Eating healthy plagues the majority of us, with the convenience of fast or prepackaged foods. Many of these foods are geared toward kids, but there is a way to combat the junk that goes into your children.
Think: junk good is pretty, quick, cool, and with advertising, gives kids a sense of belonging and coolness. Products are sold behind this method, yet our kids are growing up unhealthy and obese and a skewed idea of what is good for them. Here are some ways to get kids to eat what is good for them:
1. Squeeze In Time to Cook
There are ways to make cooking a streamlines process, especially for those of us who work. Crock pots are amazing. Cooking in bulk and freezing/refrigerating leftovers helps. Make enough food for leftovers, and when it comes time to put dinner away, instead of slapping lids on the containers the food was cooked in, invest in some take along containers like Laptop Lunches or even cute microwavable containers to reheat in, and pack these directly from the table and stack in the fridge. Takes about the same amount of time as putting the leftovers away the usual way.
2. Have Healthy Snacks Handy
When the kids are so famished they are going to dissolve if they don’t eat anything, leave out a tray of cut up veggies and fruits. Bring out a container of yogurt or veggie dip and have the kids snack from the tray. A sectioned snack server with a lid like this is handy because you can snap the lid on it and put the entire container back in the fridge, and there is a round section in the middle for a cup of veggie or fruit dip. If you want to keep things on ice, use the lid as an ice bath.
3. Be creative, or maybe not so much.
I was trying to feed an uber picky 8 year old and after looking at fancy recipes on the web I settled with something basic: individual turkey meatloaves cooked in a muffin tin (I put zucchini and carrots and a touch of spinach in a food processor and added it to the meat) and I served it with homemade barbeque sauce (homemade is much better and you save on salt and chemicals), mashed red potatoes and frozen organic green beans. Sounds simple, right? That meal was a big hit and I made enough for leftovers so I could pack some for lunch. I had no idea a simple meal would be a smash with a picky 8 year old.
4. Fruity Iced Tea.
Make the kids a treat by brewing up probiotic rich Kombucha Tea, or herbal tea, adding fruit slices and sweetening with fresh stevia leaf, local honey or even a pinch of real sugar. We know soft drinks aren’t healthy, we know sugar free soft drinks aren’t healthy, and most kids juice drinks are nothing but water, sugar and coloring. Fruit Tisanes contain no actual tea, but have herbs and flowers that are healthy, so there’s no worry about caffeine. Stevia Leaf can be purchased in pure leaf form if the tisane doesn’t already have any. Use a strainer, or self fill tea bags and brew like tea. Ice it down, add fresh fruit and keep it in the fridge in either a pitcher or get several BPA free cups with straws and keep them in the fridge for grab and go.
Of course there are many different ways to get kids to eat healthy, these are the ones that work for me personally. Little effort was needed, and the kids weren’t in shock due to the changes. Change needs to be positive and lasting, so its important to keep the kids interested in being healthy. Its up to us adults to stay interested as well, because if the kids see us being lax, they will know its all right for them as well.