This is a guest post from Juli Novotny, founder of Kookie Karma (yum) and the PUREmamas blog. What started as a “baby blog” for curious friends and family members transformed into PUREmamas with the intention of giving new moms, pregnant women and modern conscious parents healthy food ideas, recipes and motivational tips.
Kids’ nutrition is my favorite topic in the world. I love to see little ones, often the pickiest of eaters, getting excited about food, but not any food. I’m talking healthy food. It’s not always easy to get children to enjoy fruits and veggies so when I come up with a recipe that kids want more of, it’s a huge feat for me. Just because I’m a healthy person and own a health food company doesn’t mean my kids are born without a sweet tooth or food aversions. It has been challenging to find foods that are palatable and flavorful that my little boys won’t spit out! I’m lucky in that my life revolves around being creative in the kitchen. I created my PUREmamas blog, and write articles such as this, to share the results of hours of culinary experimentation with others.
Here are a few lessons I have learned first and recommendations:
Parents shape their children’s habits and desires based on their own. For example, I hate when I get water in my ears. So, I assume my kids do too and always cover the up when I wash their hair. I also hate little spiders and sometimes freak out when I see one. Now, my son is grossed out by them. Food is no different. Kids will do, say and eat, as we do. We are their role models and habit formers when they are young.
If at first you don’t succeed…I guarantee you that with some effort and multiple tries, every parent can find something that grows from the Earth that your children will actually touch.
Fruit: both my sons HATE fruit, I think it’s a texture thing. They won’t even take a small bite of an orange, pear or strawberry. Strange, right? So I put all the fruits I want them to consume into a blender, blend it up with a little goats’ milk or a little homemade almond milk and suddenly fruit is no longer the enemy.
Greens: my sons will not touch f pasta or rice if there is just one spec of a green leaf in it. They will pull it out with their fingers no matter how well I cover it up with sauce . Crunchy kale chips on the other hand? My kids devour the entire bag and want more.
Add healthy stuff to something they already LOVE. Or replace the junk with a little LESS junky!
1. If your child loves milk, throw it in the blender first with a little green juice or add a few drops of flax oil. Add just a little each time.
2. Kids obsessed with apple juice? Make your own at home – get out your juicer and use only organic green apples – these are less sweet.
3. If your children eats oatmeal buy plain oats add hemp oil, probiotics and fresh almond milk to them. Add your own sweetness with agave nectar, raw honey (not for children under 2 though) or pure maple syrup. Just a drop.
4. Throw out the candy. Instead of giving candy as a treat (or a bribe) – give chewable vitamins from the health food store. We have these ones that are made with xylitol and molasses and tons of greens! My son is obsessed with them and he only gets them once a day.
5. Exchange the wheat based crackers for the brown rice based. And choose those without any added sugar.
6. Do they love chocolate? Make your own chocolate milk. Or make a large batch of raw truffles and keep them in the freezer. They are easy to make.
7. Are your children suckers for cookies? Make your own healthy macaroons and store them in the fridge.
8. Soda? Don’t even get me started. Throw it out. Instead add lemon or orange rind and juice and agave nectar or xylitol to bubbly water. Mix and serve.
Any questions for Juli? What are your favorite healthy food tweaks?