It is no secret on my blog that my kids are picky eaters. I talk about it often because it can be a daily struggle to be sure they eat a balanced diet. Thankfully though my boys are picky, they do still have a fairly wide variety of foods that they like which means I don’t worry about whether they eat enough dairy, carbs, meat or fruit. And while I wish I could get them to eat more vegetables (don’t we all?) I try my best to offer the ones that they will or sneak them in whenever I can.
What I have learned to make sure they eat a healthier diet is to watch what is offered to them. While I can’t technically control what they put into their mouths since I refuse to hold their nose shut and force it down (although it is tempting….) I can control what is offered to them.
- I try my best at each meal to offer at least something I know they like.
- If they decide they don’t want to eat much of what is offered I don’t force it, but they aren’t allowed to have anything else to eat until the next snack or meal time. I will make sure that the snack offered is a smart choice such as granola bar, yogurt or cheese and crackers. (No empty calories with a special treat.)
- If I know that they filled up on carbohydrates at dinner the night before I will try to serve something that I know they like with emphasis on another food group such as a favorite meat.
- I try to look at what they eat over the course of the week rather than getting hung up on a single day.
- I limit the amount of snacks with no nutritional value. Thankfully my boys still think that yogurt or fruit are awesome snacks. Other snacks I try to make smarter choices such as real fruit bars versus a popsicle.
- They drink mostly water and milk and have 100% juice but never more than once a day. Right now they still believe that soda is for older kids/adults and it is not part of their diet.
While I am well aware that I’m not the perfect parent and I often break some of my own rules for special occasions, I try my best to give my boys as wide of a variety of foods as they will allow. My hope is that they will grow out of their picky stage and join my husband and I who are more adventurous eaters. Until then, I try to give them a combination of meals that I know they love and new foods for them to at least try.
Do you have any kid friendly mealtime tips to share?
Through March 31st you can enter your child’s “Happy Nugget Face” with a caption that best captures their love of chicken nuggets. Your child will be featured on the virtual Wall of Smiles and may be one of 50 selected to have their picture featured in a special Tyson magazine ad spread in both People Magazine and Parents Magazine and on a Times Square billboard. (Voting begins April 1st) As a bonus, Tyson will be donating 4 million meals to hungry families for each package purchased during the promotion period!
Thanks to Tyson’s 100% All Natural Chicken Nuggets, now you don’t have to choose between making your kids happy and feeding them balanced meals.
But I’m curious, how do you ensure your child maintains a balanced diet? Join the conversation and Tyson will select a winner and donate $500 in the winner’s name to a local food bank!