Not kidding, one of the toughest parts of parenting thus far is getting Addie to eat. It is a constant struggle. Each day we have about two meals that go splendidly, and one that is a challenge. She's been eating "real" food for over a year now, and honestly, she eats pretty healthy. Here are some of our tips and tricks for getting her to eat!
|Baby Addie, eating some homemade beet puree :)|
- Sneak vegetables in when you can. Anytime we have spaghetti, I'll shred an entire zucchini and throw it in the sauce. If we're having mac & cheese, I'll add some peas or broccoli.
- Throw flax seed (whole or milled) into whatever you can - homemade breads, pancakes, oatmeal, burgers. Remember my sneaky chef muffins?
- Don't offer juice. Addie doesn't drink it. Juice is not a necessity, so we just don't ever give it to her. She drinks milk and water, that's it.
- Give dried fruits instead of fruit snacks. Addie LOVES fruit snacks. She only has them every once in a while. Instead, we give her dried apricots, mango, cranberries, cherries, or raisins.
- Buy things without corn syrup or sugar. Things like peanut butter, applesauce, and pasta sauce are sometimes FULL of corn syrup. Not necessary! Try and find it without.
- Use honey instead of syrup or jelly. On pancakes, waffles, or toast, Addie only has local honey. It's still sweet, yes, but it's more natural than corn syrup, etc. And the local honey helps with allergies.
- Always all-natural ingredients. When I buy anything, I try to make sure I know what all the ingredients listed on the package are. Addie loves these little fish nuggets from Dr. Praeger and there are only like 5 ingredients!
- Use lookalikes! Addie loves potato chips, fries, and crackers. Instead of regularly feeding her these things, I try to give her things that are "like" her favorite salty snacks - green bean fries, kale chips, veggie chips, etc.
- Beans make excellent protein. Addie loves beans - black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans. She'll eat them like they're blueberries! You can sneak these in, too. I've even seen desserts made with beans, lately!
- Fresh is better. We always try to keep fresh fruit in the house. Fresh blueberries or peaches are so much better than frozen or canned, and better for you, too!
- Avoid fast food. It's just not good for you. I think Addie has had fast food like 3 times in her life - most of which she wasn't even with us. If you're on the go, try to plan ahead and pack something a little better than what you could get in a drive-thru.
- Keep small, healthy snacks on hand. We almost always have tiny apples, clementines, and tiny boxes of raisins. They are perfect snacks to offer when your little needs a tide-me-over.
- Garden together. Addie has spent countless hours in our garden. I kid you not, she LOVES raw broccoli, and I know it's because she got to eat it straight out of the backyard.
- Be an example. Since becoming a parent, I have changed my eating habits. My littles are watching, so I have to say no to candy bars at the checkout, more bread than is healthy, etc.
So, what about you? How do you get your kid to eat? How do you set an example? Any tips on eating healthy that I missed?