Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Tricking Kids Into Eating Healthy

I've come across a couple of books lately "Deceptively Delicious" and "The Sneaky Chef", that provide recipes and ideas on how to get your kids to eat more "healthy" foods. The problem I have with this idea of slipping in healthy ingredients, is the fact that you "hide" the healthy foods inside foods your kids are more likely to eat. It may give kids more of the vitamins and fiber and such that they need, but it's not teaching them anything about eating healthily.

I'm all for eating healthy. I think it's ok to add zucchini to chocolate chip bread or to use whole wheat flour in place of white and to try to fit in as many fruits and veggies as we can into our meals. And I don't feel like I need to tell my kids everything that is included in whatever I've prepared for them. The problem is, the problem is not being dealt with.

The child won't eat anything except macaroni and cheese so we feed them m & c all the time but now it's mixed in with some "secret" healthy ingredients. How will Johnny learn to like carrots if the only time he tastes them are in carrot cake or in lasagna?

I'm blessed to have a dd that is CRAZY about carrots. And she loves bananas (the greener the better) and apples and kiwis. My ds eats carrots, hates bananas and would probably be happy if I never made him eat another apple or kiwi again in his life. He LOVES orange juice - but doesn't like oranges. But I don't hide the foods I want him to eat. I don't give him a huge helping of carrots or apples like I would give to his sister - but I do expect him to eat some - and that amount is usually whatever I put on his plate. The kids would prefer not to eat onions or peppers - but unfortunately for them, those things are included in some of the dishes I prepare and sometimes they eat them and sometimes they ask if they can skip them.

It's all about balance - my son gets a ton of vitamin c in his orange juice so if he doesn't want kiwis that's fine. Kids would eat potato chips, pizza, soda and candy all day if we let them - but they are kids and they don't always know what is good for them - so it's up to us to make some food decisions for them.

I've read that it sometimes takes up to 5 times of trying a new food, before you may develop a liking for it.


Marcia said...


Thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog.

Now, I never thought about the "hiding healthy food" thing as you've presented it, but you make some really good points! Hmmm :)

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