What else can you do when your child refuses to eat anything green and seems to subsist on chicken-fingers and French fries alone?
1. Make food preparation a family affair.
The more you involve your kids in the preparation and selection of meals and snacks, the more willing they are to try healthy foods. Even a simple trip to the grocery store to allow them to pick out the fruits and vegetables for the week (each child in the family should get his/her own choice) can make a world of difference. Let older children find recipes online that sound good to them using healthy foods. Allow them to choose how the vegetable of the day is prepared and even help in the preparation.
2. Have a make-your-own smoothie party.
Fill bowls with various ingredients, such as berries, mango, spinach, broccoli, flax or chia seeds, and let kids pick what they want. They can even turn the blender on! They love to be in control!
3. Make your own salad.
The same trick will work for salads. But don’t just include lettuce. Use seeds, fruit, dried peas—anything goes!
4. Let them dip.
Make a quick salad dressing/dip or use a store-bought one and watch them eat string beans, carrots, celery, cucumbers, and any other veggie that you cut into strips for dipping.
5. Make veggie and fruit shapes.
Thinly slice carrots and cucumbers and use tiny cookie cutters to make shapes. Everything is more fun when it’s in a shape (think silly bands).
6. Make a vegetarian soup at least one night of the week.
Pureed soups are great because you can’t see what’s in them (kale is easy to use this way). You’ll be amazed what they’ll eat when it’s been whizzed in the blender or mixed with an immersion blender.
To get kids on the right track with healthy eating, visit www.MitchSpinach.com, a fantastic resource for parents, teachers, and kids. It offers creative, multidisciplinary lesson plans and outlines the importance of sound nutrition. Kids can print educational games, such as crossword puzzles and word searches that pertain to the healthy foods used in the Mitch Spinach books to reinforce what they have learned.