Carrot, broccoli, capsicum, beans, peas, lettuce, tomato and zucchini. You mention these and kids lose their appetite. If I want my kids to eat everything I serve them, I will literally have to feed them ice cream for every meal. So, I have to go through the PAIN of feeding my kids the healthy stuff. No pun intended.
Ages ago, I was the mom diva. I cooked baby food from scratch loaded with nutrition. 1 serve of fruit, 2 serves of veggies and 3 serves of milk was my mantra. The cherry on top, my son was easy to feed. Broccoli, bananas and bread (homemade wholemeal roti) were his favourite Bs. He barely left his meal unfinished and never wanted sweets. I turned into a MOMSTER. I was proud of my methods.
Two years later, I had a daughter. As we all know that life isn't fair, she turned into a feeding nightmare. She refused everything. I tried the internet, books, child clinics; but nothing worked. She disliked all fruits and vegetables. I didn't know what to do with her. My husband had nothing to say but "this too shall pass".
Suddenly, at a birthday party, I found her eating cake and ice cream. I had found the silver lining.
I ran back home and started adding nutrition to her food in clever ways. She is 2 years old now and is healthy and eating, well, if not everything, but definitely a lot more than before. It's a hoist. So how did I take her to the alter?
My magic tricks:
1. SNEAK IT IN
Avocados are wonderful. My kids love cheese toasties. What they don't know is that they eat smashed avocado along with the cheese. Yummy in my tummy!!
As a rule, I always add spinach puree to my daily dough.
Pancakes are both my son and daughter's favourite. 1 banana, 2 eggs, 3 spoons of wholemeal flour and 4 spoons of milk; into the blender and voila! Pancake batter is ready. My kids love them.
2. A LITTLE BIT OF SUGAR
I am sure many people will be strictly against this method but in my opinion, if a little sugar can make my child eat the goodies, then who cares?
I started adding half a cup of fruit puree to my normal cake batters. I started with bananas and went on to strawberries and blueberries. I even started replacing the cake flour with wholemeal flour, wholegrain flour, oat flour or quinoa flour. To my surprise, It didn't bother my daughter.
I started blending Greek yogurt and frozen fruits like mangoes, bananas or berries with some honey and freezing them into popsicles. It was love at first sight.
My anti sugar friends kept grilling me. But when half a teaspoon of flavour made my kids finish their milk in no time I said to them "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn".
3. OCCASIONAL TREATS ARE A MUST
Have you ever imagined a life with no colour? Persuasion to eat healthy makes meals boring.
Twice a week, I let my kids eat something that they will really enjoy. Cheese toasties, pizza, mac and cheese, original pancakes, jam toast, chips, store-bought cakes, ice creams, sweets and other things. This brings the joy of eating to the dining table.
Similarly, our weekends have family dinner outings. We all look forward to it and eat what we want. Trust me, it is a great family event.
4. WHAT DID YOU PUT IN MY FOOD?
Adding chopped carrot, cauliflower and broccoli pieces to a meal might sound like the way to go but it does not work. Colorful meals are the new thing for fitness junkies. "But I'm still a kid mom." Trust me, children are always gonna get away with it.
The only way that worked for me was to feed them veggies or meat in a pureed form as in baby food. Just like I cooked "in the olden days"(Peppa Pig). The only difference being, the puree id added to their favorite pasta sauce and pizza sauce. I generally add 1/2 a cup of veggie and/
Parenting is a challenge that can make even the most organised people's life go upside-down. Feeding your child right is nothing but a rabbit hole. Methods that can work wonders for some kids, can definitely be a big failure for many others. Hence, comments like " why are you feeding your child that?" do not create a healthy child. They only create a frown. Bon Appétit!