Healthy food habits for kids that are ‘fussy-child’ tested
I have really fussy children. I think a lot of it stems from their special needs. This means that they often avoid new things and dislike change. Getting them to try something new takes the same planning as a military operation! But obviously it’s really important that they eat as healthily as possible so we’ve tried to make some swaps and encourage some habits that even they can tolerate. I do need to make a disclaimer that our diets are far from perfect. But we do try. Here are some fussy-child tested healthy food habits for kids:
- Go easy on the chips. Chips are my absolute weakness. And it’s obviously genetic because the kids are mad about them too. Once you pop, you can’t stop was coined with me in mind! But reading the ingredient list on the back of a packet is enough to give me a heart attack! An easy snack to replace chips is popcorn. It’s much healthier and much cheaper too!
- DIY your ice cream. This genetic predilection comes from G. The boys are all ice cream crazy. But once again, that cone is full of nasty stuff. A frozen fruit smoothie is a good substitution. Unfortunately the boys are not into this. But they’re super happy to get a homemade natural fruit juice lolly! And we’ve even convinced Oscar that blended frozen banana with cocoa is chocolate ice cream!
- Have set meal times. We homeschool, which is awesome for many different reasons. But one thing that isn’t so awesome when you start out, is the fact that kids feel they can eat 24 hours a day. I’m not a parent to deny food in any way. But the boys were literally eating us out of house and home! Now we are strict about lunch and dinner times. And the kids have access to as much fresh fruit in between as they want.
- Wash your fruit. Unfortunately organic fruit is not really easy to come by. Or to afford, for that matter. And even though I would like to avoid the dirty dozen of fruits and vegetables, the kids are so specific in their tastes that we have to give them what they eat. Apples are Dominic’s favourite and he can eat a bag or two a day! All those chemicals worry me so now I wash his apples in a solution of boiled water, bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar. Apparently by soaking the apples for 15 minutes, it’s meant to get rid of most of the pesticides. I really hope this is the case!!
- Dilute your juice. Juice is like a drug for the boys. We rarely give it to them because it makes them go totally crazy! The joys of pure sugar! But when they do get juice, usually when they have a cold, then we dilute it with water. It’s also useful to do this because it makes the juice go so much further!
- Bake your own. I always go on about how wonderful baking is for kids. So many skills to learn and practise!! And an added bonus is that you know exactly what’s going into your biscuits and cakes. You can use good quality flour, cut down on sugar and leave out any preservatives. In the same way you could also bake your own bread! Store-bought bread is full of crazy stuff but you can bake a delicious loaf at home with just a few ingredients.
- Hide the veg. Oscar is not a big fan of fruit or veg. He’ll eat avocado and carrots, but that’s it! Luckily he’s a bit more adventurous than his brother so he’ll eat pasta with tomato sauce. And this is the perfect way to hide lots of veg. G makes a great pasta sauce that’s absolutely bursting with goodness. But Oscar has no clue and loves it! Sneaky parents!
How do you make sure your kids eat healthily?