A Few Small Efforts Can Go a Long Way in Making a Big Difference
Before having kids, I had this grand idea that feeding my kids would be easy…buy a few snacks, have food to prepare for 3 meals, and my kids would be all set.
Nope. My first child was a piece of cake. He ate well, he liked vegetables, and he would eat anything we prepared.
Child #2, nope. He ate when he was ready and wouldn't touch anything that even remotely resembled any food that was healthy, preferring Oreos and snack cakes to food.
Enter kids #3 and #4 (twins!) and we got another healthy eater and another picky one.
With kiddo #5, we got a mix of both.
Creativity in meal and snack options has been a challenge.
I want my kids to have good food and variety, but some treats. Also, having dinner together is a priority for us when schedules allow. When doing my grocery list, we ask our kids for suggestions of what they would like for dinner that week. This helps ensure that we know what we are having, and we know that noses won't be turned up at the menu.
I try to sneak extra vegetables into our meals without it being obvious. I have been known to add zucchini to pasta, when making spaghetti. I also add black beans or corn to our taco meat mixture. The interesting thing is, nobody seems to notice!
My kids like to help with snacks, so our go to is to wash fruit and portion it, along with carrots and celery sticks, and put them in small containers that the kids can easily grab from the fridge, along with cheese sticks. A great thing, too, is that they are able to help wash and put snacks in the containers. Pretzels, small crackers, cookies, miniature marshmallows, and individual puddings and Jell-o are all portioned out by serving size and made available as well. During our virtual/COVID days, we found that this helped with those that wanted to snack all the time, and everyone knew the snacks they were getting.
We can't be perfect, but it really doesn't take a lot of effort to do small things that are healthy and that involve your kids. Give it a try!
This blog was written by one of our guest bloggers, Michelle.
About Michelle. . .
I am a mother to 5 kids that keep me on my toes!
We live in the beautiful mountains of Northeast Tennessee and we love the Tennessee Titans.
In this week's guest post, Michelle shares her tips for offering healthy meals and snacks. If you would like to explore more ideas for how to make your meals and snacks easier, consider taking our online lesson called: Make Meals And Snacks Simple. You can find this lesson in the Planning Simple Meals And Snacks category of wichealth.org.