Hi folks! I am looking for a bit of advice on whole foods and am hoping to here from the people here. I am unhappy with my current food choices. My family and I are pasta addicts and we eat it 2-3 times a week (because it's cheap, tasty, and super easy to make at the end of the day when I'm tired). All the processed foods we eat are not helping my weight loss to really very healthy for my family.
It bothers me that our 4 year old daughter absolutely refuses to try anything new. She only likes chicken nuggets, spaghetti, bread, and pizza. She does adore fruit though but needs other foods too. I can't get her to eat anything that's considered a vegetable. I want her to have a healthy lifestyle. But it's unfair for me to ask that of her if I'm not eating healthy myself. So I need to change me. She loves to cook with me, and I am hoping that as we move to a more healthy way of eating she will expand her palate a bit and try the foods that we can make together.
I also have several food allergies. I am allergic to all nuts. I am allergic to caffeine. (As a result, I don't drink sodas of any type and don't eat any chocolate.) And I am sensitive to soy. (I can eat it in very limited quantities, but can't have it on a regular basis.) So many processed foods have hidden ingredients in them and due to my allergies, I am wary of trying some things. It would be better for me to cut out all processed crap from my diet, if for no other reason than my food allergies.
Can you recommend some kid-friend whole foods options that I can make at home that my daughter might be willing to try? And do you have any nut-free, soy-free, caffeine-free recipes that I can try out?
Any and all help is greatly appreciated! :)
06-03-2012, 04:20 PM
You might want to check this website (http://www.adventuresofaglutenfreemom.com/2011/05/tips-for-getting-your-kids-to-embrace-whole-foods/) out, "Tips for Getting Your Kids To Embrace Whole Foods" :)
Also, Whole Foods for Kids to Cook (http://www.lalecheleague.org/nb/nbnovdec02p228b.html) [Paperback] from La Leche League International, you can get on Amazon (http://amzn.com/0912500468) used for $4.05: Contains almost 100 recipes for snacks, side dishes, drinks, desserts, and main dishes, which are divided into two categories: "Beginning to Cook" and "Now You're Cooking." In the introduction, Judy Torgus talks about toddlers "helping" in the kitchen, and notes that "children are often willing to eat a wider variety of foods when they are involved in the preparation."
You can also get it new from the La Leche store (http://store.llli.org/public/profile/14) for $8.95.
Good luck! :D
06-03-2012, 04:22 PM
Just a few suggestions:
1. Try a whole wheat or lower glycemic index pasta
2. Don't overworry on the vegetables for the little one. Think more about covering the color spectrum in her fruit. My son often had a bowl of cantaloupe or berries as the fruit/veg portion of his dinner. If she is a "dipper" try different veggies with yogurt based dips. Also there are topics here and all over the net about "hiding" veggies in things like spaghetti sauce. Also quick pickling things like cukes and carrots can make them very appealing.
3. You are right on the processed foods - hidden ingredients, not all that cheap and often it is only the salt and sugar that is masking something that really does not taste all that great.
4. What about beans? Will a bean burrito fly? How about the sweeter baked beans?
5. Change up your methods. Do you use a BBQ grill? Esp in the warmer weather you can grill some chicken, some veggies and even some fruit for a complete meal.
6. Bread, pizza and the other carb bombs. Explore the 5 minute methods (all over net) for making your own whole grain doughs. A general rule that you only eat things you made yourself can work. Or explore the lower carb and higher fiber options of wraps and tortillas.
That is just the tip of the iceberg. So much you can do. Take it slowly and have fun exploring new options :)
06-03-2012, 04:50 PM
Making a lot of your child's favorites (but healthier versions) might make it a bit easier to get her to eat healthier. I've been doing this lately (muffins, mozzarella sticks, etc.) and it's been great eating old favorites again.
Check out this recipe for chicken nuggets: http://www.skinnytaste.com/2011/04/healthy-baked-chicken-nuggets.html
06-05-2012, 06:13 PM
What I do is take things my four year old daughter automatically likes and make them healthier by incorporating vegetables right into them.
chicken nuggets - I take ground chicken and shred two yellow squash into the meat, add one egg, form it into patties, cover with a mix of panko and whole wheat bread crumbs, and bake until done. I freeze these and keep them on hand at all times.
spaghetti - cook a variety (zucchini, squash, peppers, onion, carrots, cauliflower) into tomato sauce and puree or I always mix pureed cauliflower 50:50 into homemade cheese sauce for macaroni and cheese. I batch cook and keep the tomato sauce frozen in jars until I need it.
pizza - take a whole grain pita, bake it and add the above sauce, cheese, and whatever toppings she's willing to eat. My daughter pretty much only likes cheese pizza, but the "veggie sauce" makes up for some of the lack of toppings.
I also make turkey meatballs and add two shredded zucchini into them. She loves them and thinks all meatballs have zucchini. I keep these on hand in my freezer too.
Snacks she likes are: popcorn, baby carrots with (homemade ranch) dip, cherry tomatoes, hummus, natural peanut butter on anything, nuts, seeds, banana ice cream, fruit, Greek yogurt with agave or honey, and cheese.
If you just go back to basics with perimeter foods, you'll probably be able to make things much easier. I even once made spaghetti o's (it's a can of tomato sauce, sugar, and a lot of Parmesan cheese) with teeny pasta and I made teeny turkey meatballs...that reminds me, I'll have to thank her father for buying her that crap at his house... :mad: lol.
06-05-2012, 11:41 PM
Green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots. If you serve them in the right way, she will be more likely to eat them. Try steaming them. My nephews and nieces love these items. Green beans are "green french fries" to them. Broccoli is "baby trees". Cauliflower is "crunchy clouds". And carrots, they just like because they have a sweet sort of flavor to them. Oh and you can slice the small radishes very thin so they are like coins, cucumbers, and sliced up red peppers, and cherry tomatoes, too. These are all things that the kids in our family tend to love. Of course, they also like pasta and pizza and other fast food -- we just try to make these at home with wholesome ingredients to eliminate some of the preservatives and chemicals. You can make spaghetti out of zucchini or yellow squash if you buy the tool that slices it that way (inexpensive), and it actually tastes quite good. My 3 year old nephew loves it as much as actual spaghetti.
If you present foods to her in an appealing way, she might try them. The more colorful the combination, the more appealing.
06-06-2012, 11:15 AM
If your daughter will eat french fries, maybe she would eat other vegetables as fries too - celeriac, turnip, parsnips, rutabaga are the ones that come to mind.
06-07-2012, 06:08 PM
One tip for getting your little one to try new foods is to have her help in the kitchen. Wash the veggies and cut them (with a not so sharp knife). Put some fun music on when you are in the kitchen and have her associate this prep time as fun. I have noticed when kids are involved in making the meal they are more likely to eat it. This is common place in Montessori and Waldorf schools, so your 4 year old is not too young to help.
Also, only put a few bites on her plate of a new food.
I hope this helps : )