Bumps In The Road - I'm going to get my family to eat healthier if it kills me! Blog at Allrecipes.com - 218963

I'm going to get my family to eat healthier if it kills me!

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Bumps in the Road 
Jan. 23, 2011 10:11 am 
Updated: Jan. 26, 2011 11:15 am
These past couple of weeks have been tricky in my quest to get my kids to eat healthier.  First off, we were snowed in for close to a week.  Before the snow started, I laughed at all the people stocking up on bread and milk.  I went to the grocery store to pick up a couple things so I could make dinner, and many of the shelves were completely bare.  True, a few inches of snow does close down the city, but it almost always melts in a day or two.  By the third day of freezing temperatures and icy roads, I could have kicked myself because we were down to canned soups and pasta.  I had to use evaporated milk in my coffee... yuk!  I really wish I had at least stocked up on milk and some fruit.  Needless to say, none of the family got their recommended daily servings that week, although I did manage to nearly clear out the freezer, finally!

This week, we were back into our hectic routine with school and after-school activites.  It was much more of a challenge to provide the family with healthy meals when I had so little time to prepare dinner.  I relied on old stand-bys this week and didn't do a lot of experimentation.  Every mom knows that most kids will eat marinara (although I have one kid who will eat it on only certain types of pasta and not on pizza, go figure).  I made a baked ziti and put in a little bit of frozen chopped spinach into the marinara.... success.  The kids got a full serving a veggies in that meal!  The other attempts this week were not so successful.  The veggies I put in the beef stew were pushed aside, the peas I put on the plate with the baked chicken were completely ignored... as they always are.  The "experts" say that we shouldn't make our kids clean their plates or to make mealtime a battle.  They also say that you should just serve them the veggies, and that eventually they will accept them.  I am not sure about that.  I have put a serving of vegetables on their dinner plates consistantly since they were old enough to eat, and they are now 10 and 13, and they still only like a few vegetables, pretty much the same ones they liked when they were toddlers.

On the snacking front, I had more success.  A while ago, I stopped buying any snacks that were "empty calories".  I have been stocking the house with fruits, nuts, popcorn, cereal, and for my skinny teenager, a protein powder to add to his milk.  I have been pleased that while my kids do complain about the fact that there is "nothing to eat", when they snack, they have no choice but to reach for something that is at least not completely devoid of nutrition.  I have been very pleased to walk into the kitchen and find a kid sitting at the table with a pint of strawberries and a glass of milk.  Even if they eat the cereal, at least it is vitamin fortified.  I also only buy the cereals with fiber and not too much sugar.

We did buy a dozen Krispy Kremes this week, though... still warm.  Oh man, are they good!  Just have to remember that everything in moderation is the key!
Jan. 23, 2011 12:04 pm
I'm glad you're sticking to the program. Your kids may not (want to) understand it but the result will be better health for them and that is another lifetime gift to them.
Jan. 23, 2011 1:54 pm
LOL you did kill the healthy vibes I was getting with the 12 KK! :) I think it's greata what you're doing. I found that making some healthy things with kids helps...for example, yogurt is a cool experiment that you can eat... http://allrecipes.com/PersonalRecipe/62579089/Marvels-Simple-Yogurt/Detail.aspx
Jan. 23, 2011 4:40 pm
Good for you for making the change to healthier eating habits! It's not easy but your kids will be better for it in the long run! I have one picky 15 year old who is a healthy eater but HATES vegetables. I try to hide them everywhere!!! I use grated carrots and zucchini in muffins. I also used baby food veggies in sauces, meatloaf and burgers. It's a challenge but soo worth it in the end!!!!! Good luck :o)
Jan. 24, 2011 9:49 am
I have a picky eater and i keep a V-8 type tomato/vegetable juice on hand to make sauces and chili's with. Adds vegetables and flavor. Just be careful about sugar/salt when using in recipes.
Jan. 24, 2011 12:19 pm
Thanks everyone! Good ideas that I am looking forward to experimenting with. Hmmm, never thought of making yogurt... you're right I bet the boys would get a kick out of that. I used to let them help me with cooking, but they seem to have lost interest now that they are older. But, with an experiment involved, maybe I could coax them.
Jan. 26, 2011 11:15 am
Just want to add my two cents for what it's worth: If you have to make it fun to teach your boys to cook, do it! My son is in college and I think he's the only one in his fraternity who can cook! My daughter is the same. It seems not many people teach their kids to cook anymore! My son's girlfriend can't cook, we had a talk about that...My son did the same thing, "there's nothing in here to eat." I made him a bowl of yogurt, chopped strawberries and granola. Now he eats things like that. I also freeze fruit and make smoothies with no ice cubes or ice cream. Just frozen fruit and a little orange juice. you can add protein powder to it too.When my kids got to be in middle school the both started playing sports and played all through high school and into college. You can't be out of shape and eat junk. It changed the way they eat. You can't force your kids to eat but you can limit the junk you have in the house. You're doing that. I make my own pasta sauce and you can put all kinds of think in there kids can't see. Spinach, carrots, sweet red peppers. I bought a yogurt maker and used it for years. Also, my kids love anything on a sandwich. I got a panini maker for my birthday a long time ago and it was a great for every meal. My son really got into making very odd sandwiches. Tell them you need them to "help you" and give them specific jobs to do. Not cleaning up after dinner but something more fun than that. If they help to make dinner, they may be more inclined to want to eat it. You said they're 10 and 13. Do you have a grill? Could you start teaching them to use it? Very manly.
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