What kind of eater are you raising?

I will start this post by saying that it is not all right to feed your kids junk because, “They are kids” or “because they are active” or “because they will burn it off”.

This might seem harsh to some of you and that’s something I’m ok with. We all need a dose of harsh reality. If you choose to stop reading now, that’s ok too, but you will find value in what I have to say here, so read away.

Kids need to be nourished just like you and I.  They need to have lean sources of protein and they need to eat fruits/vegetables and whole grains…end of story.

If you feed them chicken nuggets and pop tarts, they’ll be learning that it’s ok to avoid spending 5 minutes preparing a meal.  You are coating their palates / tongues with salt, sugar and some grand chemicals.  I know the excuse that’s coming, “They wont eat anything other than chicken nuggets and pop tarts.” Then that’s what you’ve accepted and allowed.  That’s your doing, not theirs.  Who bought it and who made it for them? Kids learn what they live.

Parenting is tough and at times can be thankless. It’s part of your job to teach them right from wrong, AND to teach them healthy from unhealthy.

Now I know people are getting all fired up reading this and are thinking, “Come on Carrie, they’re kids, let them have a treat” or “Carrie’s poor kids must be miserable.”

I think it’s fine to have a treat, but treats with every meal? NO, not a chance.  Replacing real food with something that comes out of a box? NO.  Making excuses why you can’t / won’t cook?  NO.  I have 3 small children work full-time and I can still manage to make healthy meals.  It can be done!

Would I love if many of you did a complete overhaul of your pantry/fridge?  Yes!!!  I realize that will be a process.  Start by adding in more veggies. I would also say, be the parent.  Don’t accept the fuss that is put up when the kids won’t eat the food that is prepared.  Start incorporating veggies that the kids like and then expand into other veggies.  This is not the eat the Brussels sprouts or else blog post 🙂

Work with what they like and find similar vegetables to add in.  If they like potatoes, then sweet potatoes would be the next one to add in.  If they like cucumber then next try zucchini.  If they like green peppers then add in some red and yellow peppers.

I’m notorious for pureeing veggies and adding them to meatloaf, chili, hamburgers, etc.

Here is what I do: I make sure they have some fruit with breakfast-cut up apple (they seem to eat more when it is cut up for them) I pack fruit and a vegetable with their lunch-after school snack is a mix-some days it is a veggie and some days it is fruit-I alternate so they don’t get bored and dinner is another serving of vegetables.  I also use different cooking techniques, stir fry, grilled, steamed, baked–they like variety just like you!

I will say stop buying crap.  If you don’t buy it, it won’t be in the house.  Chicken nuggets and hot pockets fall into this category as do pop tarts, sugary cereal, etc. This is just being lazy, sorry, but it is.  Kids don’t understand the health issues; so don’t let them dictate what you are buying and making.  They don’t need to eat these kinds of foods-they don’t -end of story.

Why do you willingly want to feed them all of these unknown chemicals, preservatives and fake meat while not really understand the long-term damage they are doing. I do believe that there is long-term damage–with the increase of cancers and other deadly diseases.  I believe there is a link to ingesting all of these unknown chemicals/preservatives.

One thing that is known….if kids don’t learn healthy from unhealthy, they will go into their adult lives not knowing the difference and struggle with their weight.  Why would you do that to them??  Take it from me, growing up and getting bigger and bigger as a teen was the worst feeling.  When you feel that bad as a teen, you eat more and get bigger.  If you’re struggling with your weight now as an adult why, then why in the world would you ever want to pass that along to your kids????????

Think of how you can “make-over” your pantry/fridge.  Think of how you can replace the junk/crap with healthier choices.  Remember though, just because it says “healthy”, “organic”, “lower in fat” doesn’t mean it is.  We call that clever marketing!!

Best choices: Food that doesn’t have a label.  Next, learn how to read a food label and teach your kids to do it as well.  Empower them to make healthier choices.

Here is your food label decoded:

Look at the serving size-then look at the calories- look at the grams of sugar–my kids can’t have anything if the grams of sugar is over 9 grams per serving!

Take a glance of the ingredients….do you know what those words mean? If you need a chemical science degree to understand the words on a box of food–put it down!

You know you feel better when you have eaten well, and you know how you feel after you have had pizza and cake…bloated, tired, cranky. Kids can feel the same then they act up and you wonder why????!!!!! Also, be kind to teachers.  Don’t send your kids to school with their blood sugar sky-high after eating a bowl of Froot Loops PS….there is no fruit in a Froot Loop!! 🙂

If you clean up the pantry/fridge and start making real food, your entire family will be better for it.  Your kids will perform better at school and their sports.

Uggghhhhh, I feel another blog post coming on (aka rant) kids, nutrition and sports…..hold on to your helmets and dance shoes….that one should be a dooozie!!

This is your health and the health and future of your family, make the changes so that you can all live healthy lives.

Ok, tomorrow……sports and performance nutrition for you future all stars……I will give you a heads up….Tim Bits are not on the approved list…hahahhaha

 

Comments

comments

8 comments

  1. I never want my children to make a #$%& new year’s resolution to lose weight.
    The worst I have ever heard was when a co-worker told me that she purchased McD’s chicken nuggets and fries in bulk and froze them for future meals because that’s all her kid ate. UGH:(
    If you are in front of your kids, don’t say “my kids don’t eat veggies” or else, guess what, they never will.

  2. I have what many people consider ” a picky eater”. Isabella truly has an aversion to certain textures – including cooked carrots, cooked broccoli and certain types of meat. How do I cope? How do I make certain that Isabella doesn’t let her finicky pallet keep her from being a healthy young woman? Easy – she eats the carrots, broccoli and several other veggies raw. She prefers her veggies RAW! Bingo bango – no fuss no muss.
    For many children (just like adults) its not that they don’t like veggies, they likely haven’t found the right recipe yet. Parents should also try making homemade dipping sauces for the veggies. It works and my kids eat 2 x more veggies. I’m talking honest to goodness home made tzatziki, honey mustard, and good old fashioned olive oil and lemon.
    As for the protein problem we seem to have, there are certain ways Isabella does eat protein. I just focus on making what I know is good for her and won’t offend her pallet. (Turkey meatballs, omelette’s & home made breaded chicken) The rule is however, that when I cook a different type of protein that isn’t on her “approved” list, she still tastes it. Hopefully, the more she is exposed to the variety of proteins, the better her chance of enjoying them as a young adult.
    Fruit has never been an issue. In fact, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, apples, pears, grapes, pineapple – you name it, they eat it!
    I can’t say I’m the parent who NEVER feeds my daughter fast food. Isabella has had fries and chicken nuggets from McDonalds. Frankly, she likes them. She does know however, that McDonalds is completely and positively what she considers a “treat”. Once per quarter, I allow some of her whims, mostly because life is a balance of good and “less” good choices.
    I do allow Isabella to have cereal in the morning. Cheerios & Rice Krispies (plain not fruity, honey nut, or even multigrain). She eats the 1 cup of cheerios with milk, half a banana and 1/2 of a cut up apple. I don’t feel guilty about allowing her cereal as long as it doesn’t contain any more than 5 grams of sugar per serving.
    I have three children: 15, 5 and 19 months & the same rules apply to all three. I am also a busy working mom with my own issues about food. I am just looking and learning about food in a way that I never have before. I am learning and teaching my kids what I now know.
    Let’s not forget EXERCISE!!! Good old fashioned sweat! Good for us, good for the kids too!
    Happy Monday 🙂

  3. Here’s my favourite….”That’s what we ate when we were kids and we turned out fine!” say’s the lard ass! Whatever! ha ha!
    I was disgusted when I volunteered in my daughters grade 1 last week and had a peek at her classmates lunches. 90% of it didn’t belong in a food group….how long does it take for a ding dong to get stale??? No wonder the teacher was peeling half of the kids off the ceiling and waking the other half of them up off the floor!

  4. Thanks for posting this. I have to admit that I stress over preparing healthy meals for my kids but I make it a priority. I want them to have the best possible nutrients and not have to worry about weight issues as they grow.
    I am always thinking of different ways to get more veggies on their plate and I love the idea of pureeing them.

  5. Thanks for this Carrie. I find it reassuring to keep in mind that children may need to be offered a food up to 20x (yes that’s right, I said 20x!) before they actually enjoy it. So if your child doesn’t like broccoli the first time you put it on the table, try again later. Patience and persistence, not pressure is the key here. I can appreciate that as a parent feeding a picky eater can be frustrating but hang in there! Remember that is your job to prepare the meal and get it to the table. It is up to your child to decide what and how much to eat. Ellyn Satter (www.ellynsatter.com) is a great resource in this area and really helps to explain this well. Erika

  6. Way to go!! We have exposed our kids to a wide variety of foods since they were babies. As a result, their palates are more flexible.
    In our house we have a “try” rule. You have to try a new food (and licking doesn’t count!) Then if they don’t like it they don’t have to eat it. 90% of the time they like it. If they don’t, next time I make it they try again and again or I prepare it differently. As a result, it’s not a fight over food, I don’t force them so they’re more willing to try on their own initiative.

  7. Great post Carrie. Sometimes we all need a reminder or refresher on family nutrition and I know that I can always do better. I try to add veggies whenever I can. We add some of their favourites when we make Mac & Cheese — corn, peas or broccoli (their fav).

Leave a Reply