One of the things I enjoy about being home with Ire is the ability to cook most of her meals. Nutrition is vital for everyone and children needs it to grow healthy and. I frequently get messages of how people are amazed about how Ire isn’t picky with foods and how healthy she eats. I attribute her eating habit to starting early. Ire has been eating healthy since we she was introduced to solids. This established a healthy foundation and eating habits that will help as she continues to grow. Keeping it real, she doesn’t like all the veggies she ate as a baby, but she still eats most of them. Her favorites are carrots, broccoli and kale or spinach that is served as salad.
I’ve listed Seven Things I did That Helped With Ire’s Healthy Eating Habits.
- Start early: There is no such thing as it’s too early to start providing nutritional meals for your kids. Be intentional when they start eating solids because a healthy diet helps with children’s development and also helps them have a positive relationship with foods that can help them in their adult life. I try serving these key nutrients to Ire daily- fruits and veggies, dairy, protein, grain and fat because
- Offer varieties: Try different things out and see what they like and sometimes it may take them trying out the particular food several times before liking it. Whenever I introduce Ire to new foods, I serve alongside familiar foods that she likes. If I see she isn’t into it, I take breaks and wait about two weeks before trying again. The truth of the matter is that children aren’t going to like every food you offer and that is absolutely ok. It’s my job to offer and the ball is in her court. FYI always try to serve food within the
- Be patient: It can be extremely frustrating, trust I’ve been there. As much as Ire loves food and eats almost everything I’ve given her there are times when she only eats the same food or snacks for two weeks. This often occurs when she’s teething. During these periods, she gets nutrients mostly from the smoothies I make her. It’s soo important to NEVER force or bribe children with foods. Offer many times alongside familiar foods and don’t trip over them not liking it and who knows, they may eventually come around.
- Serve meals at a consistent time daily and limit the amount of snacks you give. If your child is filled up from just snacks, the likelihood of them still having appetite by mealtime is very slim. Ire eats three times daily and snacks twice and this works for us. Give them the chance to explore their food through smelling, touching or taking little bites to taste. Ire went through a phase or smelling food before eating and now she licks any new food before attempting to eat. When she does this, I simply just let her and don’t try to force or apply any kind of pressure.
- Make it fun!! One thing I definitely want to start doing is backing and making food together. I also love colorful foods and kids love colors so I honestly think this also helps. Children are visual little creatures so don’t make their food boring. For example, instead of serving banana, cut it up in slices and add peanut butter on top.
- Practice what you teach: Be a good example, don’t expect your child to eat things that you don’t eat. I eat literally everything Ire eats and she sees me doing this. Ire would have probably never liked greens or salad if I didn’t introduce it to her at an early age and if she didn’t see me eating it. Children pick up on these things. You can’t only eat pizza and fries and only want to offer smoothies and salad to your child, impossible.
- Eat with your child: I’ve read that this helps and encourages children to eat. I believe it because I’ve tried it and it worked for me. I mostly don’t get to eat with Ire at the same time but some weeks ago, she refused to eat the green peas on her plate so I took her fork and started eating it without forcing her. Can you believe, this girl started crying for some and ended up eating the rest?
I know it can be quite challenging to feed kids nutritious meals, especially during this quarantine. I’ve listed some of Ire’s favorite foods below- from breakfast to snacks and some even takes less than a minute to make. I hope this helps!
- bread with peanut butter + yogurt + strawberries
- red potatoes + egg + almonds
- pancakes + egg + banana
- flakes + egg + smoothie
- cheese sandwich + tomatoes
- potatoes + fried egg + cheese
- salad + apple + boiled egg
- rice + plantain
- bbq chicken + rolls + cheese
- Brown rice + meat or fish + orange
- noddles + broccoli + kiwi
- pizza + broccoli
- chicken nuggets + fries
- Spaghetti + cheese + tomatoes
- fruit crushers
- banana + peanut
- plantain chips
- multigrain crackers
- apples + peanut butter
- bread + peanut butter