Tips on Getting Your Kids to Eat Healthier

Our crew had dental cleanings this past week and two of them had small cavities.

Several years ago we had the same problem. I was told that it was largely hereditary and there was really nothing I could do about it. I didn’t feel like that was totally accurate. It was about this time that we began changing up our diet to a more “whole foods” diet. For years the kids were all cavity free.

Until now.

It seems we have fallen off the healthy eating wagon. Little by little I have let “junk” seep back in to our diets. Part of it may be the fact that we moved to a foreign country and then back to the states (because of medical issues) within such a short time frame. I feel like I am just now catching my breath from it all.

To add to it, I have been having my own medical issues (currently waiting on results for celiac testing). It is time for this family to get back to eating healthier foods.

By the way, my friend Kerimae has a wonderful podcast on the topic of preventing and healing cavities.  I listened to it again this week after our dental visit!

Most of you know that I am studying to become an herbalist. I truly believe that the Lord has blessed us with many plants for our healing. However, our first line of defense against disease and illness is a solid offense. The Lord has provided an abundance of wonderful foods, created to work with our bodies to maintain health.

I thought it was very timely that the High Five Moms topic this month was “getting your children to eat healthy foods”. This is a “practice what you preach” topic, that’s for sure!

Here are a few things that have helped us in the past and will be re-implemented this week (We are traveling to the San Antonio Christian Film Festival this week, but we are still going to work toward better choices even on the road!).

Healthier Snacks

This is probably our biggest problem area. I have a child that is a wonderful dessert chef.  He can whip up so many yummy, sweet concoctions.  I was just telling him that he needs to write an e-book entitled “Carni Lovers Cookbook” — he made funnel cakes yesterday.  Ok, I am side-tracking I know.  See this is why I have so much trouble eating healthier!

1. So, our new food choices will include much more fresh fruits and veggies.  My children really don’t have a problem eating these as long as I make sure to have them on hand.  They love ranch dip, I just need to make sure and make my own so that we don’t get all the yuckies from the powdered packages.  For fruit, I will sometimes mix up fresh lemon/raw honey for them to dip it in.

2. My friend Brandy at The Marathon Mom has a ton of granola bar ideas.  My kids like the granola I make, but it is more of a cereal rather than a snack bar.  I am going to try to make more granola bars to have on hand, especially when we are on the go and need to grab a snack to take with us.

3. We also like to make smoothies.  I like them because it is easy to add in lots of healthy “stuff” and it still taste yummy.  On my to-do list is start a batch of kefir.  It has been years since we made our own kefir, but it is time to start back up.  If you don’t know what kefir is, here is a brief description from kefir.net…

Kefir is a cultured, enzyme-rich food filled with friendly micro-organisms that help balance your “inner ecosystem.” More nutritious and therapeutic than yogurt, it supplies complete protein, essential minerals, and valuable B vitamins.

Sounds like pretty good stuff, huh?

Healthier Meal Times

It doesn’t really matter how healthy you cook or prepare foods, if your kids don’t eat it.  Some simple “rules” we have at our house concerning foods…

1. Each child gets one food item to dislike (one item over all, not at each meal).  They don’t ever have to eat this one item (although sometimes they have learned to eat their one item, they are not forced to do so).  All other food items they must eat at least some of when they are served.

2. No picking out foods.  They can take out their one item if we are eating something that has it in it, but other than that they don’t make a habit of taking things out of their food.  Generally I try to not include their item on their plates, but sometimes it can’t be helped.

3. When making foods that aren’t necessarily favorites, I try to pair them up with other foods that are well liked.  This allows them to eat a bite of something not so tasty, then take a bite of something more appetizing.  For instance, I like to make fresh asparagus when I make baked salmon.  Some of the younger kids are still learning to enjoy the asparagus, but they readily eat the salmon.  By serving them together, it seems to ease the transition.

4. Start off with small amounts of new foods, or ones that aren’t well received.  Most of the time the kids will eat a small amount of foods they dislike without complaining.  This is also good training for times that you may be eating at someone else’s house or at church.  I teach the children that if they don’t like something (or if it doesn’t look appeasing) just ask for a small amount rather than say “I don’t like that” or “I don’t want that”.

5. I don’t usually make “kid meals”.  99% of the time, the foods I make are for all of us and they are regular meals.  I don’t make chicken nuggets and macaroni type meals just so the kids will eat (nothing wrong with healthy homemade chicken nuggets and macaroni, just using it as an example).  Rather I choose the best meals for the entire family.

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Need more ideas on getting kids to eat healthy? Check out the other moms and see what they have to share!

Brandy at The Marathon Mom

Keri Mae at The Happy Home

Stacy at A Delightful Home

Andie at Happy Andersons

Comments

  1. I hope you are feeling all right; doing and then waiting on testing for celiac is no walk in the park. Hopefully you will get the answers you need and will be able to get that under control quickly. Thanks for the shout out regarding the podcast; it is amazing how much our bodies (and TEETH) reflect how healthy we really are (or aren’t). I’m right there with you on learning herbs; I’m already considered a “family (and I would say ‘friend’) herbalist” but I am gearing up to go through more schooling to become a community wide one too. Herbs are amazing; beautiful and effective medicine growing right under our noses, a gift from our gracious and generous God. Have fun at the festival!!

    • Thanks Keri Mae! Thanks be to God the celiac testing came back negative! I am not sure what is going on with my body, but I do know that we need to get back on track with our healthier eating habits. I was reading your sourdough post the other day…that seems like a good place to start : )

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