Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ideas for picky eaters!!

Tomorrow our family is boarding a plane and heading for some snow...hopefully!

We are going to Tennessee and snow is expected. The boys are crazy excited. We are just going for 4 days...up tomorrow, back on Sunday!

Before I leave I wanted to leave you with a post on feeding your family, particularly your children, healthy food when all they desire is junk.

I have two children, that I raised completely the same. One child (Ethan) will eat EVERYTHING, and will actually opt for a salad when we go to a restaurant even when chicken nuggets and hamburgers are on the menu. Then I have another child (Ashton), that does not gleen to all things green as enthusiastically as his brother! :) So what's a mom to do???

Here are a few ideas that I do that have helped a lot with my picky eater:

1. Only cook ONE meal. Do NOT cater to everyone's different food preferences. We eat as a family, and the family eats the same thing.

2. Eliminate the processed snacky foods. When you do this, they are much more likely to be ready for their next meal because they haven't filled up on junk.

3. Have healthy snack foods on hand...such as, cut up fruits, homemade granola bars, cut carrots, yogurt, peanut butter on grain crackers, dried fruit.

4. Cut out the sugary juices or artificial flavored drinks and drink water. Water is THE MOST important liquid for your body. Help your children with this early so that they don't struggle as an adult. As a family, we now only drink water for lunch AND dinner. My kids will drink OJ or Almond Milk for breakfast. When we first made this switch there was some kick back initially. Ashton even made the comment that he thought we were now poor since we couldn't afford to buy drinks! HA No, son...we could buy drinks, but we chose not to. Now my kids are so used to water that sometimes they even surprise me by actually chosing water over other drinks even when we are out.
5. Patience and persistance: Change won't happen overnight. Don't expect it to, but don't grow weary of making healthy decisions for your family. When your family realizes this is a lifestyle change and they either get on board, or go hungry :) they'll eventually jump on the bandwagon. Since I adhere to rule #1 (see above)...if my kids choose not to eat something I prepare, they realize that there will be no snacks and they will have to wait until the next meal, sometimes overnight if it was from dinner. While Ashton isn't gang busters about some of the food on his plate, he is definitely getting MUCH better because I keep introducing things to him. Tonight we had the chili and he wanted seconds with more beans please.

I think it's a lot about expectations. What you expect from your kids, and what they should expect from you. You can't give crossed signals. That's not to say that you don't finish up a great meal with a bowl of yummy icecream every now and then. But you can't say we're choosing to eat healthy on Monday, but by Tuesday you cave and give in to the tantrums and crying and shove Ho Ho's in their hand to get them quite! :) Be prepared, make small changes, gradually increasing good foods while decreasing poor food choices. Get creative in the kitchen. Get your children involved in the preparation of the meal.

You may just surprise yourself at how easy it really may be if you just give it some time and attention!

Let me know about your success stories along the way too! It's always inspiring to me, and I'm sure other readers too, to hear your stories and news!!


  1. This is a GREAT post Tiffanie! One of my clients struggles with this and she refuses to accept the fact that SHE is the parent and can set the rules for what they eat. Then she complains about the fact that she can't lose weight and she's worried about one of her kids gaining weight. I told her that she is the parent and she HAS to start setting some rules - like "take it or leave it." I should show her your post! :)

    have a great trip! Happy new Year my friend..

  2. i really needed to read this... thanks Tiff...keep it up, be safe, enjoy the snow! we've got loads of it!

  3. Tiffany,

    Great advice. We've been incorporating the same philosophy for some time now. It works. It's great to read your blog and know other parents are doing the same things.

    As a parent, I would want my children to visit anyone's house and for me to know that they will accept what is served to them as a gift from God and be grateful/thankful for their food.

    Keep up the encouragement.
    Parents: Don't waver. Stay strong.

  4. Great post, Tiff. Good and necessary tips for all parents.

    BTW, we ground some whole oats (not yet rolled) with our wheat this morning to make our pancakes. Very yummy!