The key is to be consistent! Whatever strategy you choose, be sure to stay consistent. If your kids figure out they may get their old foods back by throwing a tantrum, that’s what they’ll keep doing.
For two-parent households, it’s vital that both adults stay on the same page about what is and isn’t allowed: frustrated kids are quick to take advantage of any inconsistency. If your kids refuse to eat dinner, it won’t hurt them to skip a meal – vegetables have a way of magically becoming less “icky” the hungrier they are. Be encouraging of their efforts and stick to your plan.
Involve your kids in grocery shopping and meal prep
One of the simplest ways to get your kids excited about their new food is to involve them in the process.
- Encourage kids to help you in the kitchen with basic tasks like washing veggies.
- Older kids can help shop, chop, peel, and clean up.
- Teenagers can take charge of the family dinner for a night.
- Ask your kids for their input when you plan meals, and then take them to the grocery store to help you pick out the ingredients.
Fun healthy Snacks for Kids
- One way to make almost any food fun to eat is to create a mini version: mini omelets, mini meatloaves, and mini burgers are quick and easy ways to make dinner kid-sized – these can all be made in muffin tins (or mini-muffin tins).
- Cut deli meats with cookie cutters, or use an egg mold to keep low carb snacks interesting.
- Fruit or berries in small amounts are an easy, tasty snack.
- Almond milk chocolate milk (sweeten with stevia), or add chia seeds to make it into a tapioca-style pudding.
- Hard-boiled eggs are another nutritious option that you can easily make ahead of time and store in the fridge for days.
- Try baking crackers from alternative forms of grain such as almond and coconut flour. Enjoy them with butter, nut butter, guacamole, or deli meats.
- Jerky and small packets of nuts are easy to find and portable.
- Pack a hot lunch in a thermos (soups, stews & chili etc.), lunches don’t have to be complicated or time-consuming.
- Surprise your child with a colorful, healthy Bento lunchbox packed with leftover meat, fruit salad, hard-boiled eggs, chopped veggies like carrot or celery sticks, and some strawberries etc. Other items you can include are:
- Mini meatloaf
- Mini quiche/omelette
- Beans/baked beans
- Cottage cheese
Add plenty of good fats. Keep them fuller for longer. Use cold meat or lettuce as a ‘wrap’. Take a slice of ham or roast beef and wrap it around veggies (asparagus, sliced peppers, alphalfa sprouts)
Be Patient & Lead by Example - Kids typically want what you find delicious to eat. Embrace the challenge. You don’t have to be perfect family from day one. Minor setbacks along the way doesn’t mean you should give up entirely – keep at it, it’ll get easier with time.