I seem to get this question a lot, so I thought I'd write a post on it. How do I get my kids to eat so healthy? The answer is simple. They don't have a choice. I figure that 27 months combined of horrible pregnancies with these little hooligans gives me the right to make them do things they don't always want to do, if it will better them. There is a common saying in our house, "you get what you get and you don't throw a fit". The concept of being a picky eater is foreign to me. I will eat pretty much anything and will try absolutely anything once. I love food. Thank God for good genetics or I would probably be the size of a house with the amount of calories I consume on any given day. Therefore, my kids aren't allowed to be picky.
From the time that solids were introduced with our kids, I would offer them every single fruit and veggie. Did they always like it? No. Did I keep offering it to them until they ate it? Yes. When they were big enough to feed themselves I would put everything I made on their plates. Do they have to eat it all? No. Do they have to try it all? Yes. If I gave them a choice in what they eat day in and day out, it would probably be this. Poptarts or donuts for breakfast, mac n cheese for lunch, chicken nuggets and fries for dinner. What kind of mother would I be if I let them eat that crap? All these things are fine in moderation, but have zero nutritional value.
Our oldest loves water and would choose it with every meal, unless we let her order a DP on occasion of course. She also loves fruit and most vegetables, but is very picky about meat. In order to compensate for the lack of protein she eats a lot of beans, hummus, cheese, yogurt and loves milk as well. She is old enough that she will ask me if something's healthy and likes to make good choices with food.
Our second will eat ANYTHING. She could eat you out of house and home in fruit and broccoli. I honestly can't think of one thing that she doesn't like, which makes my life so easy. She does love chocolate milk in the mornings, so I have turned her on to Dark Chocolate Almond milk, which she thinks is delicious and I think is nutritious.
Little man is pretty easy to please as well. I have come to the conclusion that the pantry is his safe place, as I find him hidden in there trying to hoard snacks several times a day. He is 19 months old and still has 3 fruit/veggie baby food mixes a day. I figure that I will keep buying it as long as he eats it. I don't care what form his fruits and veggies come in as long as he consumes them.
For dinner every night I don't take in to consideration what everyone else wants/likes. I figure if I am doing the meal planning, grocery shopping and cooking that I will fix whatever sounds good to me. If you don't like what I cooked, you can eat a big breakfast in the morning. Period. I am not a short order cook. You will not starve if you don't eat dinner. It will not hurt my feelings if you go to bed hungry. To try and make sure that this doesn't happen often, I only allow 2 small healthy snacks a day (carrots, cheese stick, apple, grapes). That way when it is meal time, my kiddos are hungry and will pretty much devour anything presented to them.
That's it in a nutshell. Any other tips on this topic are always welcomed!