Adding More Fruits And Vegetables To Your Kids’ Diet
Most moms, for whatever reason, chronically feel that their children aren’t eating enough of the ‘right diet’—even though their estimation of what that diet should be is very different for each mom. One thing most moms can agree on though, is that our kids should be eating more fruits and vegetables than they are. We usually follow a cycle that goes like this: we have a hard week or two, and the kids eat terribly. But since most of the food we buy is healthy, we have very little convenience food to feed the children. So we eat out a lot. Then we swing the other way: we’ve been eating so badly we need to get back to home-made meals—and freezer meals if need be—anything to save us from this McDonald’s habit that is taking root! Then we cook a whole bunch of really healthy meals with way more fruits and vegetables than our children would ever reasonably eat. Exhausted from our Olympic cooking spree that the children didn’t even appreciate, we become exhausted from force feeding healthy options to the children. Then we stop cooking. But when we stop cooking, we re-discover that we have very little convenience food to feed the children. So we eat out a lot. Then we swing the other way: vegetable marathon again! And the cycle continues. The best strategy to get more fruits and vegetables into kids is to be consistent, and the best way to achieve consistency is to serve vegetables in a diet that is realistically sustainable for your family.
1. Lose The Three-Part Meal Plan.
A lot of us grew up with the three part meal: one third of the meal was meat, one third starch, one third was vegetables. When meals are presented like this it can be easy for kids to try and skip out on the vegetables. A better approach is to integrate (you could read this as sneak) vegetables into the meal in a way that doesn’t alter the basic taste, texture, or color. See point seven on vegetable puree fillers.