Kids Grow Fast
We all know that children grow up in a blink of an eye. There are days that I can’t even believe I have a 4 year old and an 18-month old running around. Blink… I make sure they eat well and I know that has contributed a lot to Cam’s progress. As parents, I know we fight the same dinner table battles. We struggle to get our children to eat their fruits and veggies. Sometimes we just can’t get children to eat at all. I don’t know why some days my kids run like crazy and aren’t hungry come dinner time. It blows my mind.
So here are two tips to help you: When your child wants a snack, ALWAYS offer a fruit or veggie first. This is how I got my children to love them! Once they were used to getting them as a snack, there typically wasn’t a problem getting them to eat it during meal time. And if they wanted to skip meal-time, at least I could get them to eat a good snack. My second tip is to empower your child with options. When it’s snack time, allow your child to choose between two healthy snacks. Choice is a motivator for children and adults.
Water is Best, but Drink Milk Too
Drinks loaded with sugar just slow kids down in my opinion. I have noticed this first hand. That’s right, my kids don’t get hyped up on sugary drinks and run crazy. Instead they tend to get lazy. In addition, my kids don’t digest sugary drinks well at all so I know they need a lot of water every day.
Cam’s doctor also made sure he was drinking enough milk each day because milk helps our bones stay strong. Young kids need a lot of calcium in their diets. If your child isn’t a milk drinker, there are other options. My kids eat yogurt and cheese almost daily. And a nice treat is a small serving of ice cream, which is a dairy product!
Pack on the Protein
You can find protein in many different foods. I grew up eating a meat, veggie and another side for dinner. I have tried to follow this same plan with my kids. My daughter, Capri, requests steak and corn on the cob for dinner daily, no joke. But they both love to eat chicken and rice, tacos, fish, etc. When you provide kids with a variety to choose from, their palates will grow with them and expand upon new tastes. They will also be more open to trying new foods.
Don’t Give Up
Capri won’t eat red spaghetti sauce or red pizza sauce. She will eat plain spaghetti with a little oil or butter and some garlic and white pizza. I always will offer her a bite of my red sauces when we have them because some day she may like it. I don’t force her to eat things she doesn’t like. We all have different tastes. But I don’t give up on those “yucky” foods either. Just consider them food options that your child doesn’t like yet. Sometimes preparing foods a different way helps kids to realize they are good.
Cam didn’t like oatmeal since he could eat it. But every time Capri or I had it for breakfast, I would offer him a bite. And guess what? He gave it another try the other day and realized it was really good. Our tastes change as we mature so keep offering those “yucky” foods they don’t like yet and continue trying new foods and new ways to prepare old favorites.
Did your kid’s eating habits change as they got older? I’d love to hear your stories!