One of the things I was going to start working on in the new year was getting my 5 year old, Ella, eating better. Her diet consisted mostly of white food. To her the ideal diet consisted of cereal, fruit and candy with some chicken thrown in every once in a while for kicks.
It was really starting to show how malnourished she was. Her skin was dry and the coloring in her face was just looking bad. I was constantly trying to supplement her with vitamins, tried to get more variety and tried to take her off cereal, but none of it was really working.
These are the things I have done recently that have worked.
1. I made a list of what she does like and what I have been able to get her to eat in the past. When I bought those items I bought all organic.
This had the largest impact on her breakfast. She will eat eggs occasionally so I bought organic free range eggs and served them to her. Suddenly she started asking for eggs in the morning. She went several days without even mentioning cereal.
I started buying everything I could organic. She started eating avocados, baby carrots, organic chicken, beef, wild caught salmon, tons of organic fruits and dairy.
Could it be that her little body figured, “Hey if I am gonna eat crap food it might as well be as crappy as possible. Bring on the cereal and candy!” and once I started to actually give her properly grown food her body went off strike and started to nourish itself?
2. Just keep putting it in front of her.
I just kept making her healthy well rounded organic meals. If she didn’t eat all of it fine but pretty soon she started eating more and more of it. She still won’t touch broccoli but she started eating a lot more and complaining less.
3. I got her involved in the shopping.
I took her to the grocery store and to the farmers market. I let her choose her own fruits and veggies. This really increased her interest in actually eating what she herself had picked out.
One tip when you go to the grocery store with your kids. Tell them they can pick out a treat. The first time Ella chose some candy. The next time she chose organic yogurt. Maybe the next time we go she will choose spinach! (a mom can dream can’t she?)
4. I started her on these Amazing Grass Kidz Superfood Shakes.
Wow. These shakes are AMAZING. They are amazing because they are low on sugar, taste like chocolate milk or a fruit juice depending on what kind you get and by the 4th day of Ella drinking it she was asking for salad and eating two servings of it. I have an opinion that if you are really deficient in something it is hard for you to overcome the either mental or physical barriers to handling that deficiency. It is as if this drink got her to the point of actually being able to tolerate greens.
5. If you are going to do a shake or veggie smoothie, put it in a container with a straw where they can’t see the contents.
The Amazing shakes are kinda green. If it is in a glass Ella won’t touch it. If it is in a portable water bottle with a straw she will drink it in about 60 seconds. If you make smoothies at home from scratch, you could likely sneak in some spinach this way without them noticing!
It has been great seeing her eating healthier. She is enjoying food more, her skin is looking way better and she has been more even tempered. She has been eating meals like this:
But of course we still do things like this:
This website is supposed to be about enjoying life isn’t it?
Great ideas! I have a SUPER picky toddler boy. Oddly, he loves broccoli, but won’t eat chicken. He has a VERY short list of foods he will eat. I’d really like to make it more balanced. I think I’ll try offering him more of these choices and see what happens.
Yes, just put it in front of him! Maybe he will like fish? My girls will eat salmon like there is no tomorrow!
What a great article! And great ideas!
Thanks Stephanie!! I loved that picture you posted of your girls looking up at your husband flying!
Great ideas! Ella is such a free spirit <3
She certainly is!
Thank you for the great tips! I love the pictures too:)
Thanks Marcela! I appreciate you reading it!
Jen I love your blog! Makes me feel so close. Love you and the girls so much!
Love you to Jenny!
What a good mommy you are Jenny! I’m excited that while I have her she’ll eat LOL!! Thanks for setting all that up for me
HAHAAAHAA!!!! Yes. The girls are so excited to visit
Very Well Done, You! That’s amazing how you managed to turn her around that way. (One thing from my personal experience. If the cereal she’s eating is made of wheat, it could be causing her to crave wheat and sugar if she’s intolerant to wheat.)
This blog post inspired me. I bought a ton of greens and have been vegetable juicing every lunch hour this week with spirulina thrown in. I use kale, chard (which is very sweet actually), spinach, carrots, cucumbers, sometimes celery or red cabbage or an apple.
What bursts of energy I’ve had mid-day from doing this. It’s best to buy organic because kale, spinach, celery etc. has tons of pesticides on it. Wash that stuff thoroughly.
wow! So glad to hear this post inspired you! That sounds great! I just ate in and out. Yikes!! But I am starting a two week challenge from Amazing Grass that will kick start a healthy two weeks for me!
So glad you liked it!