Help Your Child Eat A Variety of Foods

Boys Stirring Muffins. Helping in the kitchen.

My child only eats mac and cheese and a few other foods. We struggle to feed our child a variety of foods. I want my child to eat something, anything. So, we finally offer my child mac and cheese so he won’t starve.” 

Boys in the kitchen strawberry jam
Boys in the kitchen strawberry jam

I  see so many parents with this struggle. It is easy to fall victim to this vicious cycle. When we offer food to our children and they don’t eat their food, we feel like we should never offer the particular meal again. This results in your child eating the same variety of foods. Parents prepare their children’s favorite foods. They are confident their children will eat them. When young children are learning how to eat, they may need to try the same food many times before they discover if they like it or not. My oldest son refused eggs in all manners of preparation for about two years! Then one day, he decided he wanted a hard boiled egg. He has consumed hard boiled eggs ever since. Find out why a Farmer’s Market and CSA is wonderful for your family. 

Below, are four tips to help your child receive a variety of healthy nutrients to nourish their bodies.

Helping hands in kitchen. Fresh vegetables.
Helping hands in kitchen. Fresh vegetables.
  1. STOP SERVING MAC AND CHEESE. Literally. Give your child a few days to adjust, give yourself some grace, and provide a variety of other healthy foods. Do not feed your child mac and cheese, no matter what. Its just a few days – you can do it. In a few days, feel free to offer it back to them on occasion. The intention is not to deprive them of the foods they love, however, you are in control of what they eat. Provide them foods other than mac and cheese. 
  2. WHAT DO WE EAT? Offer a variety of healthy food choices. Foods can be simple, easy and enjoyed by the whole family. When you offer an assortment of healthy choices to your children, you are fueling their bodies. The following examples below are filled with nutrients. Children can also help to prepare these foods. Examples are, but certainly not limited to:

You can find simple recipes the whole family can be involved with on Pinterest.

3. INVOLVE YOUR CHILDREN IN THE FOOD PREPARATION. Children, and mamas too, are more interested in something if they have had a part in the creation of it. Children (even very young children) can help prepare all of the above meal examples in tip #2. By participating in food preparation, children are more inclined to taste test what they directly helped make. Please alway make sure to assist your children and supervise as needed. Your children can learn and help you by: gathering ingredients that are accessible to them, opening jars, bags, spreading the foods on the sandwiches, spiralizing vegetable noodles, squeezing lemons, adding garnish to dishes, and washing fresh fruit or vegetables.

Helping hands in the kitchen. Peeling vegetables.
Helping hands in the kitchen. Peeling vegetables.

4. EAT MEALS WITH YOUR CHILDREN. When it is possible, sit down and eat meals with your children. Lead by example so your children will see you eat the same foods you are asking them to eat. Children really are constantly learning from everything they experience, see and hear. When you sit beside your child, and eat the same foods together as a family, you are reinforcing their good eating habits. Therefore, your children will begin to eat the same variety of foods you are demonstrating.

Stick with this parents and you can do this. Remember, you are their primary and first source of nourishment and you make the decisions. It may be a tough few days, but you can do this. I have seen it work with my children. Pave a path for your children. With your efforts, they will experience a wealth of nutrient dense and healthy foods, in just a few days time.

Our boys are pictured below. We made homemade whipped cream with just a few ingredients and it therefore turned out amazing. Finally, we topped our gluten-free pancakes with the cream.

Boys homemade whipped cream

 

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Posted by nourishedchildren

<p>Hi, I’m Randi! I’m the blessed Mama of two amazing little boys, Hudson (age 4.5) and Jude (age 3). I’m honored to be able to homeschool my preschoolers and we are trying to be intentional with our children each day. I’m all about slowing down, leading as natural a life as we can, spending time outdoors, and enjoying the simple, ordinary moments of life. I have always had health and wellness as an intense passion. Now I get to share it with my children!</p>

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