Growing up, my mother was very focused on instilling healthy eating habits in us. I remember as a child we never had soda (or pop, depending upon where you live), sugary cereals (oh, I wanted them so badly!), or a pantry filled with chips and cookies. When we did, it was a complete special treat. I really grew up knowing no other way. This was just the way it was at home. We always had nutritious breakfasts, lunches, snacks and dinners. At each breakfast there was some fruit. Every lunch we had was perfectly balanced (even our lunch bag lunches)… there would be a sandwich, fruit, crackers, olives, cheese slices, yogurt… it was delicious! And dinner, oh… dinner. We’d always have a vegetable or two with our meal, and I remember loving that as a child. It would always be a “surprise” what veggie would be served – corn, broccoli, lima beans, spinach, carrots… crazy, right? I actually looked forward to a veggie.
I must say that this has stayed with me. Even going away for the first time to college, and having food bars open to me morning, noon and night… I never deviated from what I knew. My girlfriends used to laugh that I always made sure I had a salad with my meals. But that’s just me.
And throughout my life, I can honestly say that I have never been a picky eater. I love food. I may not have the time to cook and to bake and to experiment in the kitchen as much as I’d like, but I have always had a love for it and appreciated yummy-delicious and nutritious food!
So… as a mother, you can imagine my shock and disbelief when I tell you that I have boys who are picky eaters. Yup, they each have a one track mind when it comes to certain foods for certain meals.
Breakfast – they want pancakes. Pancakes aren’t bad, it’s just that it’s ALL they want.
Lunch – they want peanut butter and jelly. That’s it.
Dinner – they want peanut butter and jelly. Yup, that’s it.
I have been trying my best to incorporate healthy foods into their diets. I feel myself becoming my own mother… I don’t want soda in the house, chips, cookies or even (gasp) Coco Puffs. I know that pancakes, peanut butter, jelly and whole wheat bread isn’t bad for my sons – but trying to get them to eat or try anything else is a difficult (difficult) task.
For the past two months I have been trying to bring a new fruit or vegetable into the mix. Bananas, apples, oranges, kiwis, grapes and melon. The tough part is, they refuse to sometimes even try things. They automatically think it’s “yucky” or “gross.” I will say, bananas have become part of my son Benjamin’s must-haves, so I feel like I have accomplished something big with that! I mostly worry about William and Alexander who truly are two of the most picky eaters in the world.
As odd as this sounds, they won’t eat macaroni and cheese, but they will devour my father’s red clam sauce with spaghetti. They won’t eat saltines with cheese, but they will ask me to make my Nana’s famous clam dip for their crackers.
I take what I can get. I really do.
Our home is a healthy eating home, I just need them to try more foods and expand their taste buds a bit.
Let me ask you… what kind of foods do you have in your home for your kids to instill healthy eating habits?
I remember my mom used to make me all different kinds of healthy snacks — celery with peanut butter and raisins, cheese plates, apple slices with cinnamon, strawberries with some whipped cream, cottage cheese (yes, I love any kind of cheese God has created!), crackers, yogurts (I love all different kinds of flavors).
I would love to hear what kinds of healthy snacks you make for your children. How can I combat my picky eaters and keep them eating healthier foods?
William and Alexander and Benjamin can’t live off PBJ’s their whole lives!
Disclosure: This blog post is sponsored by Healthy Choice. Please visit http://www.spokespersonwanted.com/ for more information on Healthy Choice and to print a free $1 off coupon.