“I’m Not Hungry!” I seem to be hearing this a lot lately, so I am trying to be more creative at home. I totally believe that healthy eating habits start very early and it’s a big issue in my house. I have so many memories of family dinners from my childhood, some good and some bad. My father always prepared a healthy balanced meal (mom was busy working), never creative, but always nutritious. Maybe that’s why I love to cook and enjoy different cuisines; there was not much variety at our dinner table growing up.
After watching my most recent episode of The Doctor’s with my children, which was discussing ways to encourage healthy eating, my girls have been making a real effort to make better choices. Travis displayed a gorgeous rainbow made of fruits and vegetables. It was a great visual and smart way to show our kids easy, fun and healthy ways to eat the colors of the rainbow. They’re still talking about it and trying to eat as many colorful foods as possible.
I also just bought a mini sandwich grill from Bed Bath & Beyond for under $20.00 and my kids love the whole-wheat grilled sandwiches.
Here are some of the things I do to get my family to eat healthy:
I involve them, I cook with them, and I allow them to choose certain menus on particular nights. Taco Tuesday is a family favorite – here’s a video of me preparing them in my kitchen.
Chicken matzo ball soup night is another family tradition. It’s actually the prefect meal because everyone can dish out their own bowl to their liking.
I stock a healthy snack drawer for my older girls to pick from while packing their lunch boxes.
I talk a lot about foods that will help them grow and explain the different food groups. I don’t buy junk so my kids have lots of healthy options to choose from.
We make our own fun fruit juice popsicles, and they love sugar-free popsicles. I freeze children’s yoghurt tubes and they eat them like a dessert. Frozen grapes are yummy too. Sometimes we make food art like fruit and veggie kabobs or whole-wheat English muffin pizzas.
Family meals are habitual in my home and they help develop good habits. We love to eat, I love to cook and I try to keep it fun. Don’t think we never splurge, kids need that and we all have our cravings. I’ve never been one to deprive myself of those, but for the most part we eat healthy and enjoy it.
Sick season is really tough and so many kids have dropped major pounds. Pedialite popsicles have worked for my kids when they are sick and kept them hydrated.
High calorie protein drinks can pack on the pounds as well as nuts, pastas, and peanut butter. I rarely buy non-fat foods so I am careful how much I give my kids.
Even when I hear “I’m not hungry” before school, I can sneak in some mart calories by making a frozen fruit protein drink. Almost everyone loves a good milk shake and this is the next best thing.
Spoonful peanut butter
Scoop of protein powder
I usually have good appetites in my house, but everyone gets bored, so I try to keep it creative and fun.