Let's face it--it is super hard to get kids to eat healthy, clean foods in a world full of Goldfish, PopTarts, cereal, and chicken nuggets! Can I get an "amen"?! I have to say that I was incredibly proud of how well our daughter ate the first year and a half of her life. Being married to a baby doctor, I got kind of the ins and outs of ways to get your kids to eat right. Things like: First food should be a green veggie with a unique taste. Have your kids eat what you are eating. And so on.
Here are some pics of EG in those early, veggie lovin' days:
Yeah, she's freakin' cute. I spent (okay, my husband spent) hours making delicious baby food. She loved it all! As she got older, she still ate it all! Salmon, asparagus, hard-boiled egg whites, peppers, plain oatmeal with chia seeds. It was amazing! Then this crazy thing happened: family. Grandparents, aunts, uncles...I get it. Food makes you cool. My sisters started sneaking E cookies. One of our nephews was having macaroni & cheese and everyone was dumbfounded when we said that E had never had any, so of course, she got some. At first, things were okay. She still ate great with us, but then she would start asking for juice and cookies--things that we never let her have. After my irritation subsided of her now not wanting to eat vegetables or meat anymore, I realized that this is life. Obviously I cannot shelter her from the cupcakes of the world but I can teach her about healthy foods and every-once-in-a-while foods.
Another problem we face with E and food is that she is not able to eat what we eat for dinner anymore simply because she goes to bed at 6pm (yes, go ahead and hate me. Why do you think we have not had another child yet? We couldn't possibly be lucky in the sleep department more than once). She eats her dinner about 5 o'clock and that is too early for B and I, mainly because I'm scrambling to thaw chicken or whatever else I forgot to prepare in the course of the day. Because of all this, I go for convenient, healthy food. If you have young kids and need some fresh ideas for meals or snacks, here are some photos I've taken over the last few days. Yes, I'm aware that I'm not perfect with some of the foods she eats, but I try to do my best with what we have as I'm sure you do. :)
Yogurt, strawberries, cucumbers, red peppers, and canned chicken.
Apple Gate turkey hot dogs (no preservatives, nitrite and nitrate free), pickles, celery, and apples
Banana, minimally processed jerky, and cashews
Scrambled eggs with green onions and chicken-apple sausage, and strawberries
Simple Truth minimally process turkey lunch meat, whole grain crackers, kalamata olives, and cucumbers
Frozen peas, strawberries, string cheese, Apple Gate turkey hot dog
Sunflower seeds, orange bell pepper, kiwi, and Greek yogurt
Brown rice cake with all natural/no sugar added peanut butter, pears, string cheese, and celery
Homemade grain-free graham crackers, cashews, and a banana
Things I Always Try To Have On Hand
Fruit: raisins, dried cranberries, frozen blueberries, applesauce pouches with no added sugar, and whatever fresh fruit that's on sale at the store. E loves fruit so this is not a problem area for us.
Veggies: frozen peas, cucumbers, carrots, celery, pickles, and whatever else that is on sale at the store. Bell peppers can sometimes be a hit. A lot of times E will only eat her veggies if there is something else that she wants more of. I am not above bribery. If you have any ideas of how to get kids to eat their veggies--please share! Or write a book, because you could make millions, I mm sure!
Healthy Fats: peanuts, cashews, pecans, sunflower seeds, olives, organic whole milk, non-gmo yogurt like StoneyField, all natural/no sugar added peanut butter, and chia seeds
Grains: plain oatmeal, whole grain crackers (always check labels on these, they may not be as healthy as you think), popcorn kernels for our air popper, brown rice cakes
Protein: Greek yogurt, "Popsicles" aka frozen Greek yogurt in the tubes, eggs, jerky, canned chicken. Sadly, E only likes processed meats like lunch meat, hot dogs, bacon, etc. so I go to the health foods section at the store and read labels. Apple Gate brand is really good as far as the processing and preservatives go.
Drinks: When E is home with us, she only gets organic whole milk with meals and water with snacks. I think she gets juice at preschool with her snack, but rarely gets it at home. Every once in a whole we'll spike her water with a little apple juice or a squeeze of lemon so she thinks she's getting juice. She doesn't know the difference and doesn't get all the sugar.
If you have any ideas for mommy-convenient and healthy foods, PLEASE SHARE! Know that in no way am I trying to come across as "look at how good my
Kid eats" because it is not like this all the time. I'm simply compiling a list that I wish I had when E started eating regular food. :)
Oh yeah, and we go through a crazy amount of Larabars (fruit & nut bars).