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upsidedowngrl
08-26-2008, 07:22 PM
I'm doing a quick tips article on How to get your kid to eat healthy foods. Does anyone have any quick tips and a possible quote of how you get your child to eat healthy food such as fruits and veggies that I could pop into my article.

Thanks everyone.

UpSideDownGrl

Bufty
08-26-2008, 07:31 PM
Don't feed them junk food when they're young is a good start. Make sure there's fruit available for snacks between meals if they wish.

Bubastes
08-26-2008, 07:34 PM
I don't have kids, but my parents set a good example by eating lots of fruits and vegetables themselves and treating them as a normal, tasty part of the diet rather than something to endure. I know too many adults who avoid fruits and vegetables, and I'm sure their kids pick up on this attitude.

Clair Dickson
08-26-2008, 07:56 PM
"If it doesn't crawl off your plate or bite you back, EAT IT!"

My parents didn't allow the kids to dictate what was served. We didn't get to whine our way out of veggies. The closest we came was a "no thank you helping' which would be a spoonfull of whatever we didn't want (not a little spoon, but a bigger serving spoon.) We had to clean our plates, but my folks were good about not overloading the plates either. Sometimes, we'd get to pick between two veggies-- peas and beans or something. Sometimes.

My parents also moved dinner time later and later until us kids were really hungry to make sure that we ate what was put in front of us. (And no snacks in the meantime!) All us kids do pretty good at eating well now.

When I'd complain that my mom was the MEANEST MOM in the WHOLE WORLD! she'd tell me "That's right!" Ah well. I'm kind of glad she didn't let kids run the house-- I've seen some households that do/did...

dirtsider
08-26-2008, 08:00 PM
I don't have kids, either. But my mother got creative when my sibs and I were kids. Since my father's idea of "veggies" is rather limited, to say the least, Mom would make the veggies Dad wouldn't eat a treat for us kids when Dad was away on business trips. Another thing I remember from when I was younger, we'd have our own "Mickey D's" night and make our own burgers and fries (baked rather than cooked in oil) and put them into our own wrappers like McDonalds does. We also had fun with the homemade pizza mixes (the "just add water" dough mix kind) and we could add our own toppings.

So, to cut this ramble short, if you make healthy meals fun, kids are more likely to eat them.

jennontheisland
08-26-2008, 08:05 PM
Start them early and don't give them any junk food at all before the age of 2.

Size and shape helps when feeding kids too...they like stuff cut up and looking neat on the plate. Don't just dump apple slices in a bowl. Spread them out on a plate in a flower shape and put spinach leaves for the leaves, a slice of celery for the stem and some tiny cubes of cheese in the middle. That's way more fun to eat than just a bunch of apple slices.

Cutting celery crosswise makes little smiles. Crosswise carrots are "gold coins".

Marketing is very important to toddlers.

Bubastes
08-26-2008, 08:11 PM
Start them early and don't give them any junk food at all before the age of 2.

Size and shape helps when feeding kids too...they like stuff cut up and looking neat on the plate. Don't just dump apple slices in a bowl. Spread them out on a plate in a flower shape and put spinach leaves for the leaves, a slice of celery for the stem and some tiny cubes of cheese in the middle. That's way more fun to eat than just a bunch of apple slices.

Cutting celery crosswise makes little smiles. Crosswise carrots are "gold coins".

Marketing is very important to toddlers.

Very good point. Japanese mothers have taken this idea to quite an art form:
http://mfrost.typepad.com/cute_overload/2008/08/betcha-cant-eat.html

Hey, whatever works!

Priene
08-26-2008, 08:23 PM
Give them a plate of raw carrots and peppers twenty minutes before the meal starts. They're much happier polishing them off then than when there's other enticing things on the plate.

MonaLeigh
08-26-2008, 11:25 PM
I don't feed my son much junk food. He doesn't eat a lot of sugar, and we're lucky b/c he doesn't like ice cream or cake. (He does love cookies, though, and gets those on occasion.) To get him to try new foods as I'm giving it to him I say, "These grilled artichokes are SO good! You love these, remember?" He's only 2 and I think I get him excited by the tone of my voice.

jennontheisland
08-27-2008, 12:21 AM
Very good point. Japanese mothers have taken this idea to quite an art form:
http://mfrost.typepad.com/cute_overload/2008/08/betcha-cant-eat.html

Hey, whatever works!


OMG those are awesome!! I want food that looks like that!

jennifer75
08-27-2008, 12:25 AM
Don't feed them junk food when they're young is a good start. Make sure there's fruit available for snacks between meals if they wish.

Yea. This helped me. I never....NEVER...gave my son candy or sweets, even on Easter or Halloween...no goodies until he was about 4...then Easter got kinda tuff so I caved. But in those first few years, fruits and vegies were what he got, and he loves'em to this day. Sure, he'll hop on sweets if offered, but he doesn't turn down the healthy stuff.

Once their introduced to it, it's tougher to stick with the healthy foods...fruits, vegies, anything. They'll eat what you give them, they'll eat what they see you eating. In most cases.

Mr Flibble
08-27-2008, 12:55 AM
Any snacks must be asked for in advance EXCEPT what is in teh fruit bowl

Get the kids to help with the prepping - it's amazing what they eat if they've helped make it. Works even better if they can help pick the fruit / veg too. If you haven't the room, take them to a Pick Your Own farm.

In extremis: puree veg up and slide it in when they aren't looking ( actually home made tomato pizza topping and bolognese sauce is good for this)

If they don't eat everything on their plate ( exceptions for stuff they really hate - they are allowed one or two. My boy is allowed mushrooms and peppers becaue they make him feel sick - my girl courgettes ( zucchinni???) and peas. However they must at least try new stuff, or no pudding! ) then no pudding. Watching a sibling tuck into ice cream when they can't really gets them eating lol

WendyNYC
08-27-2008, 03:08 AM
It's really nice to have a vegetable garden and have the kids help, if you can swing it. My kids get excited when they watch something they have grown themselves ripen and get ready for picking. Somehow it makes it taste better.

If a garden won't work, helping in the kitchen can be a motivator as well. But I agree that starting healthy foods early is the best way. My parents were kind of hippy crunchy granola and I didn't grow up with a lot of packaged foods. There are a few junky foods I like (Twizzlers and Cool Ranch Doritoes!) but for the most part I don't enjoy junk food at all, and I don't like soda.

ETA: This, of course, is not foolproof. My 9 y.o. lives for the days she's allowed soda.

C.bronco
08-27-2008, 03:12 AM
My son will only eat a limited number of vegetables. For fruit, he is more daring. At least, however, he thinks that you have to be 21 to drink soda. I will not correct that misconception.

:D

chevbrock
08-27-2008, 03:49 AM
All the above are good. My two cents worth:

Don't make an issue of it if they refuse a food. Toddlers tend to regard a new food in the same way they regard a new person - with suspicion. Keep putting it on the plate and one day they will surprise you.

Only put a little amount of everything on their plate.

My kids like casseroles, so this is a perfect opportunity to shove everything I can think of in there. This includes beans of all kinds, zucchini, carrot, mushies, green beans, tomato, and cubes of frozen spinach.

There are no lollies, chips, fruit juice or soft drink in our house. On the rare occasion there is juice or soft drink a small cup is served with dinner. Biscuits are our failing, but they are often served as dessert.

If the kids won't eat veggies, there's always fruit.

Never underestimate what your kids will and won't like!

upsidedowngrl
08-27-2008, 06:15 PM
I just wanted to thank you all for your posts on this subject.

Tsu Dho Nimh
08-27-2008, 06:26 PM
We had a few rules:

1 - Take what you want
2 - Eat what you take
3 - Don't criticise the cooking

My parents didn't stock the house with things they didn't want us to eat. Desserts were a once in a whiletreat, not a god-given right.

Carmy
08-27-2008, 08:18 PM
I know one mom who told her children they had to be older to eat things like broccoli, then she'd served it to herself and her husband. Guess how soon the kids started sneaking it onto their plates!