For parents of picky eaters, healthy foods and mealtimes can be apocalyptic. More food ends up on the floor, it seems. The little old ‘here comes your food’ aeroplane trick doesn’t work like it used to, and they just want to feed themselves. If they don’t like what’s on the plate, there’s going to be a lot of tears (and mess).
We were all these kids, once. Some of us never outgrow fussiness or continue to stress we don’t like something, just because of the way it looks. Do you still turn your nose up at peas and brussel sprouts, too?
If this sounds like your children right now, all it takes is a little creativity with healthy foods. Downplay the ‘healthy’ part and avoid telling them “it’s good for you” and chances are, they’ll like it.
Ah, the joys of parenthood!
Let’s take a look at some ingenious spins on nutritious healthy foods.
Swap out canned tuna for a yummy spread
Tuna is a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids and is rich in protein. It’s also notorious for sparking tantrums at the table. Instead, take it out of the can and mix the tuna with avocado and mayonnaise. Lather it on wholegrain crackers for a delicious afternoon snack.
Take those greens off the plate & into a smoothie
Unless you hit the jackpot, most kids dislike a plate full of green veggies. But don’t let them miss out on these essential nutrients. Put them in a fruit smoothie instead. You can put spinach, kale, cucumber and just about any other green in there. And, if you’re worried about the colour, throw in a handful of blueberries to darken the drink (and add some amazing antioxidants).
Trade icecream for strawberries & yoghurt
This one’s a little cheeky. It looks like ice cream but it’s a LOT healthier. Grab some sugar-free Greek yoghurt and layer a few strawberries on top (for natural sweetness). These healthy foods taste so good and are packed with vitamin C, potassium, and fibre.
Switch toast for oatmeal
A winter favourite, oats are rich in fibre and B vitamins. Get a boost of calcium and protein, when paired with non-fat milk. And… drumroll, slice fruit on top to make a face. This super healthy food is a sure-fire way for your little ones to always finish breakfast.
Lightly breaded chicken, instead of “nuggies”
Chicken “nuggies” are a childhood favourite. They’re yummy, easy, but not the most nutritious choice. Make your own instead and call them nuggets. Just cut boneless chicken breasts into thin squares, dip in low-fat milk, then blanket in seasoned whole-wheat crumbs. Dress in olive oil then bake in the oven, until crisp. A great healthy food alternative.
Set an example for your children by following a Mediterranean-style diet, rich in omega-3 fatty acids and healthy foods. Do you know what your Omega-6:3 ratio currently is? Take this test today, so you can re-align your levels.
Make healthy living, and healthy foods a household priority.