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5 TIPS FOR PLANNING HEALTHY LUNCHES KIDS LOVE
HOW TO MAKE YOUR KIDS TO EAT THEIR VEGETABLES
Picky eating can be a pretty touchy subject. No mom wants to hear they might be making a mistake, especially once you’ve gotten to a point where it seems impossible to change the course you’ve already charted.
We found that when you allow your kids to dictate what they eat too often that’s what they begin to expect as custom. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t still occasionally let them choose between two different meal options (You should), but for the most part, you should adhere to the very wise preschool philosophy of “You get what you get and you don’t get upset.” Specific requests are considered, but not always honored immediately. Furthermore, you should not make separate meals. If you are trying a new recipe, whether it be fish, casserole, soup, or anything else, your kids should eat what you eat. If they refuse to eat it, they don’t eat. This isn’t something easy to enforce but the more you do it the less they beg and the more willing they are to go along with it. Ultimately, we discovered that no kid will starve from missing a meal, and they will eat eventually.
I read somewhere one time that most kids are wary of new things, and that it takes at least three separate exposures for something to become familiar. Once it is familiar, it will usually be accepted without resistance. For this reason, I suggest adopting the 3 Try Rule. Your children are not allowed to refuse food or say they don’t like something until they have tried it at least three separate times. (Not three bites, three different meals.) Amazingly enough, by the third try, they usually end up liking it, whereas the first try might have resulted in a few tears.
This is a great rule because it allows children to be more willing to try new things the first time because they understand that even if they think they don’t like it right away, they might like it eventually.
It is hard to get kids to try new things and eat healthy, well-balanced meals if they are constantly filling up on snacks. I know it is not fair to suggest never giving your kids snacks or junk food when they ask for it, but it should definitely be made the exception, not the rule. We want to especially avoid snacking anytime in the two hours before dinnertime and don’t allow snacks after dinner, especially if the child requesting the snake didn’t eat their dinner.
This is often easier said than done! The pre-dinner hour can be rough, especially for toddlers and preschoolers, and the fastest way to entertain a whiney three-year-old is to appease him with a bowl full of goldfish. Until, of course, dinner is finally ready and he refuses to eat even one bite. Then an hour later, just before bedtime, you give him another snack because you don’t want him to go to bed hungry, and the vicious cycle continues.
This is probably the hardest habit to break, so you must realize that the only way to get your kids to eat well is to sometimes let them be hungry, allow them to regulate to an eating schedule.
You want your kids to understand that being picky about food and saying I don’t like that, or that looks gross when someone else has spent time cooking for them is not only unacceptable but incredibly rude. This means teaching them about manners, and what it means to have good manners in all sorts of different situations, including at the table.
Being picky (and rude) is simply not an option, but this rule requires constant reinforcement. Before going to anyone’s house or to a restaurant, you should usually have a 3-minute pep talk in the car explaining to your kids that they cannot call the food gross, they have to try at least one thing on their plate, If they can’t find something they like to come and tell you and that you will help them. Make sure to always remind them that words like gross, yucky, weird, nasty, or disgusting should never be used to describe food.
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HEALTHY RECIPES FOR KIDS
CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER BREAKFAST BARS (VEGAN, GF)
extra on the sides to use as handles for removing the bars later.
(or other nut butter) to the mixture and mix until well combined.
evenly distributed. The original recipe instructs to allow the mixture to then sit overnight (to firm up) before cutting into bars. I’m not that patient—I put mine in the freezer for an hour or so and it seemed to work just fine. 5. Using the parchment paper handles, remove the entire block from pan/baking
dish, then cut into bars. Notes:
Feel free to substitute your favorite nuts/seeds for any you don’t have on hand or don’t like. You could sub dried fruit for chocolate chips, too.
OVERNIGHT OATS (1 serving)
1⁄3 cup plain Greek yogurt
1⁄2 cup (heaping) rolled oats
2⁄3 cup unsweetened milk of choice (coconut or almond)
1 tablespoon chia seeds or ground flax meal
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cocoa powder (optional)
Pinch of salt
Whisk together all ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Spoon into a jar with a tight-fitting lid.
Close and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight before eating.
APPLE AND STRAWBERRY MUFFINS
melted coconut oil). 3. Grate the apples and stir into the egg mixture with the strawberry
pieces. 4. Then fold in the self-raising flour with a metal spoon. 5. Spoon into greaseproof muffin tins, and bake for approximately 20
minutes, until golden and cooked in the center. 6. Stick a knife in the center of a muffin to check they are cooked – it
should come out clean.
PEANUT BUTTER AND BANANA WRAP
Spread 1 tablespoon of the peanut butter evenly over the tortilla. Drizzle 1 tsp of the honey,top with banana slices and chocolate chips. Roll up tortillas. Secure with toothpicks.
EGGS IN A PEPPER
into bell pepper ring; cook until bottom holds together and corners are browned, 2 to 3 minutes… Flip and cook until the desired doneness is reached, 2 to 3 minutes more; season with salt and ground black pepper.
BREAKFAST BANANA POPS
(2 bananas makes 4 pops)
Procedure: Pour granola into a very shallow dish or plate. Peel bananas, cut in half, and insert popsicle sticks. Dip into yogurt (or coat with a knife), then roll into granola and add- ons. Place on a parchment or wax-lined tray and freeze. Keep uneaten pops in the freezer.
CHOCOLATE BANANA SMOOTHIE RECIPE
Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.
12 MINUTE CHICKEN AND BROCCOLI
For the stir fry:
chicken breasts, and season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until the chicken is browned and mostly cooked through. 2. While the chicken is cooking, make your sauce. (See below.) 3. Once the chicken is browned, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and
broccoli, and stir to combine. Continue cooking for an additional 3 minutes, until the broccoli is bright green. Stir in the soy sauce mixture, and cook for an additional 1 minute until the sauce has thickened. 4. Remove from heat and serve immediately, garnished with green onions and
toasted sesame seeds.
To make the sauce: