Let’s face it, it’s not easy getting children to eat healthy foods and snacks. Peer pressure and school food is hard to compete with. This short segment lists some quick tips and recipes that I have personally field tested.
Think simple! When it comes to kids and what they like, you gotta be creative and sometimes a little bit sneaky.
Separate food items- They like their food separated into basic components like meat, vegetables, etc. This is why they make kids plates with separate compartments to keep the food from touching.
Use healthy sauces- Homemade is best. Here is a quick Ranch dressing recipe.
Make novel and fun shapes– Get a spiralizer or zoodle maker. Arrange food onto plates into faces or some recognizable form.
Novelty foods can be healthy and intriguing- I introduced bugs and worms to my boys and they love them. You don’t have to get this crazy but be resourceful. Seaweed is somewhat of a novelty and a regular favorite in my house.
Provide a good multi vitamin– My favorite: Here. You can never go wrong with vitamin C as sodium ascorbate. This is slightly salty but won’t upset sensitive stomachs and can be put into their drinks without altering the flavor.
Fish oil everyday: This is one of the best fish oil products on the market and we sell it at CrossFit9 and Anytime Fitness. Kid friendly SFH orange flavor
Use grain substitutes as much as possible: Millet, Shirataki (sweet potato noodles). Shirataki noodles can only be found in the Asian stores.
Keep them hydrated and especially with filtered water. Reference the article in my resources for more information on the importance of uncontaminated water for kids.
Be liberal with grass fed butter– I put g.f. butter in so many things. It is a great source of fat when making vegetable noodle soup or any type of soup. Butter celery sticks and sprinkle with shredded unsweetened coconut.
Read labels and limit or eliminate preservatives and dyes by avoiding processed foods.
As I always say “kids are my toughest customers”! When it comes to getting healthy foods in kids, it is always a challenge for me as a dad and holistic nutritionist. Trial and error is often the name of the game and you gotta stay in the game and be up for the challenge. Keep trying new and novel foods because you never know what you and the kids may discover. Think of food as not just the medicine but also as a common bond with kids and adults. Good nutritious food can transcend the generations and offer a foundation for great conversation and goodwill. Mealtime is the time to share in personal experiences and can nurture both physically and spiritually.
Some more practical kid friendly recipes:
Diane Sanfilippo, “Practical Paleo”, 2016, Victory Belt Publishing Inc.
Professor Tim Noakes, Jonno Proudfoot, Bridget Surtees, “Super Food For Super Children” Robinson Publishing.