Dear Slice of Life,
How can I get my kids to eat more healthily?
Apart from bananas, they refuse all fruit and veg!
Am going crazy!
Yours worried in California,
Dear Desperate Mom,
I can feel the worry and frustration in your message, and you’re certainly not alone in this struggle. Many parents find it challenging to get their children to eat a varied, healthy diet, especially when it comes to fruits and vegetables. But remember, this is a common issue and it can be resolved with time and patience.
Firstly, it’s important to understand that children’s tastes can change and develop over time. Just because they refuse certain foods now, it doesn’t mean they will always dislike them. Be patient and continue to offer a variety of fruits and vegetables. Even if they refuse, seeing them regularly can help familiarize them with these foods.
You mentioned that your kids enjoy bananas, which is a great start! Try to incorporate other similar fruits that are sweet and soft like mangoes, peaches, or pears. You could also make fun fruit salads or smoothies using bananas as the base and gradually adding in other fruits.
Get creative with vegetables. Hide them in foods your children already enjoy, like blending spinach into a pasta sauce or adding grated carrots into a meatloaf. You can also try different cooking methods – some children might not like steamed broccoli but enjoy it roasted with a bit of cheese.
Remember to set a good example. Your children are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables if they see you enjoying them. And finally, involve them in the process. Let them help you in the kitchen, picking out their own fruits and vegetables at the grocery store, or even growing their own in a small garden.
I recall a similar situation with a parent, let’s call her ‘Stressed Sally’. Sally’s children would only eat apples, but with some creativity and persistence, she was able to introduce more variety into their diet. She started with apple-based dishes and gradually added in other fruits and vegetables. Now, her kids enjoy a much wider range of foods.
Remember, this is a journey and every small step counts. Don’t be disheartened if progress seems slow. Every child is different and what works for one might not work for another. However, with patience, creativity, and perseverance, you can overcome this challenge.
And, if you ever feel overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to seek advice from a professional nutritionist or pediatrician. They can provide personalized guidance based on your children’s needs.
I hope this « Slice of life » proves useful and do keep coming back for more soon !
Stay strong, Desperate Mom, you’ve got this!