It’s been awhile since I posted specifically about how we eat as a family and since A Healthy Slice of Life is hosting a Munchkin Meal Linkup today and my kids have been eating especially well lately, I thought now is a great time to revisit this topic.
Essentially my kid-feeding philosophy boils down to this: my kids eat what I eat. I may keep special “kid food” around for an occasional quick meal, but honestly, it’s been awhile since I’ve had chicken nuggets in my house (and when I do, I’m purchasing the healthiest variety I can find). I’m much more likely to open up a can of beans and defrost some peas. Spinach ravioli also keeps well in the freezer and cooks in no time.
I believe it’s important to serve our kids the same healthy foods that we’re eating without cooking up something special for them, even if they don’t like what I serve. It exposes them to a variety of food and enjoying meals with them normalizes healthy eating.
Even when they were babies, I just steamed the same veggies we were eating a little bit longer to make them extra soft. If there’s something they don’t like, I continue to serve it along with a variety of other foods and eventually they try it and like it.
For Emme, broccoli and asparagus took numerous offerings for her to try and now they’re two of her favorites. For Reece, I just posted on Facebook this week about how he requested salted avocado for snack when he saw me eating it. This after at least 30 times of offering it to him. Salad is another thing that took him forever and ever to actually like. It’s important not to give up and assume your child will never eat something just because they’ve rejected it in the past.
One thing I have changed is requiring my 4-year-old to at least try everything on his plate. I used to let him choose to eat whatever he wanted from his plate, but this new method has been working well. I can’t enforce it with my 19-month-old yet, but I do ask her to try a bite and a lot of the time she will.
My kids eat what I eat, but as mentioned above, they definitely don’t like everything. I try not to bust out a happy dance whenever they try and like something new or ask for second helpings of a veggie, but I’m for sure jumping up and down on the inside. I do my best to act completely normal because I do want it to be normal to choose healthy foods and not make a big deal out of it.
What food has your child eaten that had you doing a happy dance?
I’d love to hear your tips for raising healthy eaters!