Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Getting your children to actually eat their fruits and veggies

Yeah, yeah, yeah.
I know.
Blah, blah, blah.

But have you ever tried to get a child, who is "addicted" to the processed food already,
or who struggles with sensory disorders, or ADHD, or Autism, or......
to actually eat fruit and vegetables??
I had to start by not buying processed all.
Because what happens in my house is this:
I buy all these whole food items,
and they scrounge through the pantry when they get hungry.
They don't reach for a banana or apple,
they make their own peanut butter and jelly sandwich
or pour a bowl of cereal.
So yeah.....I hide the two boxes of Rice Chex or Whole-Grain Flakes
for those days I have to have something quick I know they will put in their stomachs.

One thing that I am convinced draws children to processed foods (in addition to the sugar and fat)
is the colorful, fun packaging.
I believe that we, as moms, have to be creative when it comes to food preparation 
and how we present the food to our family.

Who says being a stay-at-home-mom is boring and suppresses our creativity or artistic ability?

I have found that taking the time to set the table pretty, with candles,
brings them all to the table more willingly than when I just hand them a bowl of food
and point them to a cluttered table to sit at.
I've found the same when it comes to serving fruits and veggies.
My children are much more willing to eat raw produce than slimy cooked produce.
So I try to make it look more fun!
Who doesn't want to try some of this:


or this:

I'm not saying that you have to be a talented fruit sculptor to get your kids to eat right.
But I am saying that taking a few extra minutes to make the food look pretty
will spark the interest of you child and they will be more likely to try something that looks interesting to them.  Especially if they get to help.

Is that a no-fail guarantee?
I have to fight the processed food addictions in my house every. single. day.
I am seeing progress though.
My children are eating much more fruit than they ever did before.
They still choose homemade cookies over apple slices; but, when I don't make the cookies
and just offer fruit, they are actually eating it.
I'm throwing much less rotten fruit away these days.

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