If you’re reading this you probably agree that as parents you need to take some responsibility in getting your kids to eat better. It’s going to be tough – they are going to resist. I bet they don’t like doing homework or getting shots at the doctor either, but you still find a way to get it done.
Hopefully I can make it a little easier for you with a few ideas that you can use to help clean up these diets a bit. Some of these are “substitutes” that are even better than the “real thing”. The others are strategies you can employ on a day-to-day basis that will help you slowly make changes which can lead to HEALTHY HABITS.
Here are My Elite 8 Tips to help your kids eat better:
1. Keep the Dip, Lose the Chips
This is a way to get kids used to eating veggies, but still keep them happy. Use whatever dip you want, French onion, buffalo chicken, crab, Queso, 7 layer Mexican, it doesn’t matter. The key is to not use chips of any kind, but load up the plate with VEGGIES instead: sliced peppers, cucumbers, broccoli, celery, carrots and cauliflower are all great options. This may not seem that “healthy”, but they are still getting nutrients from the veggies AND it is also dis-arming the vegetables in the kids mind, so next time they see broccoli on their plate, it doesn’t seem so bad.
2. Mashed “Potatoes”
This is a simple one, mash up some Cauliflower instead. The texture is similar and if you season it right, the taste is amazing. Just steam the cauliflower until soft, drain and mash. It’s that simple.
3. Veggie Noodles
Pasta is a staple in many kids’ diets. An easy way to bump up the nutrients is to pull the noodles and add in some veggies. Spaghetti Squash is the most obvious choice, but Zucchini and Sweet Potatoes also make some awesome pasta dishes. Just use the right slicer and the texture is great for stir-fry or smothered in Meat Balls and tomato sauce.
4. Homemade Mayo
Mayonnaise is a main ingredient in a TON of recipes. But have you ever checked out the ingredient list on store bought mayo? All you need to make it is some eggs, olive oil and lemon juice and A LOT of patience – but aren’t your kids worth it? (Had to throw one guilt trip in here)
5. Who needs breadcrumbs?
Take a look at how many breadcrumb-laden items your kids eat, it’s a little nuts. The best substitute I have found is almond meal, it tastes great and can be seasoned the same as breadcrumbs. You can make your own with a food processor or find it at a lot of grocery stores.
6. Check your peanut butter.
I love peanut butter, always have, but when you take a look at the ingredients, well I can’t even pronounce or spell half the chemicals, so I cant mention them here. Anyway, look for different types of nut butters, almond, cashew and pistachio are all amazing. But if your kid NEEDS the peanuts, just find the ones with ONE ingredient (PEANUTS).
7. Infuse your water
Your kids are chugging down pounds of sugar every month, that’s right, I said POUNDS. Get rid of the fruit juices and sports drinks. Add some fresh fruit to their water; its simple and tastes great and the flavor combos are endless.
8. Cook with Coconut
Oil that is. Coconut Oil is one of the healthiest sources of fat you can find and yes, you do need to have plenty fat in your diet. Fat is BRAIN food, so utilizing the right sources can actually help your kid’s brain function, seriously. So grab some coconut oil and try cooking with it. It works well with eggs, chicken and most veggies. This is a great way to get healthy nutrients into your kids diet and they don’t even realize it.