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14 Ways to Raise Good Eaters
It’s no secret that food can be one of the most problematic areas that parents face. Picky eaters and defiant toddlers can sometimes make it hard on moms and dads, especially when parents are trying their best to feed their children a nutritious diet. As a mom, I have certainly had my fair share of struggles with feeding my daughters, but after a couple of years I finally feel like I have a few good tricks up my sleeve. My kids eat a variety of foods – things that can certainly benefit their health, and things that I didn’t even try until I was in my twenties.
Start them off right!
Click through for 14 ways to raise a good eater…
Be a sneaky chef!
Some babes despise veggies. As a parent, do your best to sneak them in when you can. Shred an entire zucchini into your spaghetti sauce, add some peas to the mac & cheese, throw in a handful of spinach when you’re making their favorite smoothie!
Sneak in the grains!
You can be sneaky with grains, too! Throw in some oats and flax seed when you’re making pancakes, add some quinoa to your taco meat, put some rice into those meatballs…
Babies LOVE beans!
Even if it grosses you out, babies love beans. Both of my girls like to eat them plain for a snack. Beans are FULL of protein and can be a great way for your picky eater to enjoy a meal…
Corn Syrup is in EVERYTHING
Read your labels carefully! Things like pasta sauce, peanut butter, and applesauce can sometimes be loaded with unnecessary corn syrup. Take an extra second at the grocery store and find the brand that makes it without.
Babies and kiddos love fruit snacks. Usually these things are made with lots of sugar, fruit juice, and sometimes corn syrup. Instead, offer your little one dried fruits instead. They’ll hardly notice the difference!
Skip the Syrup
After your baby’s first birthday, use honey instead of jelly or syrup! My girls love honey on toast, pancakes, and more…
Never heard of it? Not necessary!
Try to limit the amount of processed foods your little one consumes. When you read the ingredients, look for things you’ve heard of. If you don’t recognize it, chances are the food is full of unnecessary chemicals and fillers.
Fresh is Best
When you can, offer your baby fresh foods. Fresh foods are always better and they look more appealing, too!
Don't Make That Burger Joint a Habit
When you can, avoid fast foods. Sure, you might have to go to the drive-thru from time to time, but don’t make it a habit. A well-balanced meal is not likely found at your favorite burger joint.
Don't offer it!
My friends think I’m crazy for this one, but I don’t buy my girls juice. They have milk and water and that’s it. Juice, although it’s super tasty, isn’t a necessary part of our diet. Your little one can get all the hydration they need from milk and water.
Pay Attention to What You're Offering
Snacks live on that slippery slope of the food spectrum. Keep nutritious snacks on hand – small apples, clementines, raisins, whole wheat crackers, etc.
Yes, foods have lookalikes too!
If your kiddo loves salty snacks like potato chips or French fries, try giving them something similar – kale chips, green bean fries, veggie chips, etc.
Learn Where It Comes From
I kid you not, my child loves broccoli. I give all the credit to our garden. Last summer she helped plant it and watched it grow. She’d even eat it raw, straight from the ground!
Apples Don't Fall Far From the Trees
It goes without saying, if you want your baby to be a good eater, you have to be a good eater, too! Set the example for your little one by eating nutritious foods and a balanced diet.