How do you get your kids to eat a balanced diet?

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Lori - posted on 08/23/2014

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Hey Brittany - at 1 yr old, just keep offering healthy foods. Since she's been breastfed, that takes care of most of her nutritional needs. And really, breast milk can continue to take care of her nutritional needs until age 2. Both of my breastfed girls still had some breast milk only days until past 18 months. I introduced solids to each of them around 6 months old. My oldest LOVED solids immediately. My youngest didn't accept solids until closer to 8 months old. And she would only have a bite or two of anything then. My girls are now 6 and 3 yrs old, and they eat a pretty diverse menu.

Rachelcnorman - posted on 07/30/2014

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I just buy fruits, veggies, and basic food that needs to be cooked. Not super "health food" per se but no boxed food. Then, after preparing it, I put it on the plate and you get what you get and you don't pitch a fit. Most of the time they'll eat it. Sometimes they'll refuse and I make them have one bite before getting down. They have to wait until we're done before they get down but I don't replace food, I don't cook another meal, and I don't let them stand in the kitchen snacking all night because they refused dinner.

Unless there are food allergies/medical issues, if you are consistent this will absolutely work.

http://amotherfarfromhome.com

Nancy - posted on 07/09/2014

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What an eloquent post, especially for a 14 year old. I am deeply impressed. I'm really glad that a catering class has taught you so much about food. I never really thought much about it, but you are right about the spices. I will definitely do some research and begin using more spices in my cooking. It's a sneaky way to add more nutritional value. Fantastic idea!

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Trina - posted on 10/07/2014

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The importance of this blossoming health awareness can’t be overemphasized, because our kids are in trouble. In fact, our children need us now more than ever. With the ever-increasing invasion of processed food, junk food, and fast food into our diets – combined with more sedentary lifestyles, children’s health issues are skyrocketing. I am hosting a FB party on on Monday, October 20th at 8:30pm MST to learn more about these shocking statistics and why disease and obesity in children are rising ever so fast in North America. We will be sharing simple strategies, tools and recipes that can make a real difference in your family’s health and nutrition. Even the finicky eaters will start eating their fruits and veggies! https://www.facebook.com/events/15405170...

Jen - posted on 10/03/2014

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I've been really lucky with my youngest. She is a year old and eats anything I put in front of her - except uncooked leafy greens but I can't blame her, she only has two teeth. My stepson was another matter all together. When he moved in with me, a little over a year ago, he had horrible eating habits! All he would eat was oatmeal, pb and j and candy. He was sick all the time too. My husband and I decided that this needed to change and agreed that if he didn't want to eat what was on his plate he would a) get it served to him until it was finally eaten and b) have to go hungry until it was gone. It was a huge fight in the beginning just to get him to eat a spoonful of mashed potatoes or a couple carrot sticks, but he finally got tired of going hungry. He now eats everything, except raw broccoli which I think is fine because we all have something we simply don't like right?

Adrienne - posted on 09/24/2014

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Hi Brittany Faulk, I agree with Lori A. I would encourage you to continue breastfeeding, baby's are curious about what they see adults doing with food. I breastfeed my kids till age 3, the first 2 years being mainly breastfeeding. My first child was 50 lbs.at 6 months and I was advised by doctors to not introduce table food if he wasn't interested, so I just went with it. Believe me, when they are ready to eat they will let you know. Also I have never made my kids eat anything they didn't like. Their taste buds change so much in their first few years, they always come back to what they didn't like, an end up loving it. That was a tip I read years ago. From 4 years to 12, my kids eat everything and are open to and will try any new foods. You may just do well by giving your 1 year old time and let her satisfy her curiosity with new foods. Wish you the best! Ya for breastfeeding! !

Christa - posted on 09/23/2014

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While she sleeps play music, sing, dont let her fall sleep to dead quiet noise because if you do thats what she will be used to. Start off light then she will eventually get used to noise.

Veronica Mkami - posted on 09/13/2014

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Hello,

I would love to advice you! I had the same problem with my first born but now she is doing ok. Lets discuss more my email (vero_wambura@yahoo.com)

Courtney - posted on 08/31/2014

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You can actually get most of the nutrition you need from fruits and veggies so I wouldn't worry too much about adding meat if your little one doesn't like it for what ever reason, I would just suggest researching what fruits and veggies offer the most nutrition and adding those to your menu.

Brittany - posted on 08/15/2014

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I have a 1yr old. I have been having trouble getting her to eat. She will try almost anything but only to taste...she has never had more than a few bites of anything. Im almost worried that she hasn't mastered the mechanics of chewing and swallowing. (Shes been exclusively breastfed....started introducing food at 6months)...how do I encourage better habits?

Anjugopi - posted on 07/30/2014

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Hi,please help me be more organized. My baby is 10 months old. When she is awake im at her back for her safety. When she is sleeping I cant do anything coz she will wake up for a mild sound. Plz help with suggestions

Doyin - posted on 07/19/2014

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Great post, Sophie C! I think the key to giving kids a balanced meal is being flexible which is the bottom line of your post. I give my kids healthy food but when you give kids the same type of food all the time they get "bored" with the food so to speak. So being creative about giving healthy food is good. Sometimes, not always, giving them what they ask for works as it gives them a break from the 'healthy food rule'. When they go back to eating healthy food the next time, it doesn't become such a fuss as they got a break from it. Also, asking for their opinion makes them feel they made the decision not you and it makes them feel they helped out in preparing the food. So, they will eat their choice. If you just want healthy food for that day you can still let the kids make their choices by asking which of 2 healthy choices they want.
Kids love fun and flexibility/variety and the opportunity to help out and we as parents should consider these too when it comes to meals.

Nancy - posted on 07/09/2014

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I have almost the opposite problem. My 23 month old doesn't like to eat much other than fruits and vegetables. I need her to eat meat. She's not a vegetarian, however she fills up on the veggies on her plate first. I'm wondering if it's a texture thing for her. Should I be worried?

Amy - posted on 07/05/2014

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What about a 19 mo that was eating everything and then got thrush and thrush is gone now but her eating very very picky and bird bites? Any suggestions talk to my peditrcian and he suggested 2 days a week pedi sure, kinda works acouple sips, please any suggestions, thank you!

Sophie - posted on 06/25/2014

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I'm 14 years old and I think I eat quite a balanced diet. As kids we are always told to eat healthily and to eat balanced meals but no-one really listens to it. It wasn't until I started doing catering in school that I really started thinking about what I eat. With fast food restaurants on every corner, it is becoming increasingly hard to eat healthily. I mean out of mcdonalds chips and a banana, you obviously going to pick the chips.
So I came to the conclusion of that if you can't make people eat the healthy stuff, why not make the unhealthy stuff healthy?
For cupcakes you could:
Add grated carrot. You can't even taste it but it makes it healthy
Add cinnamon or ginger. Spices have tons of benefits and are really healthy however all the shop bought ones have added sugar but if you are making them yourself you can add it to add flavour and not add the extra sugar. This means you can get the benefits of the spices, a really tasty cupcake but not have the unhealthy sugar.
Add cheap in season fruit and berries
There are tons more of ideas you could do.
Another thing I came to the conclusion of is that when you are younger variety is a good way to keep healthy. I used to like going round the supermarket with mum and choosing something I haven't tried before for my lunches and dinners to try. Because I didn't know what it tasted like it made me look forward to dinner so I could try it and you never know, it could be your new favourite food. I think being brought up this way has made me willing to try new food and a lot less fussy. I also would tend to buy a new type of fruit, vegetable or pasta that I hadn't tried rather than a cupcake that i had eaten a hundred times before.
The conclusion is to have change in what you eat. Just because something might seem unhealthy, it doesn't mean it had to be unhealthy. Make it healthy! And just because something might seem plain and boring doesn't mean it has to be plain and boring. Make it fun and new! All of this coming from an actual kid.
Also last thing, and I do hate to say this because I know your only trying to make it better for your kids but don't ask other parents what your kids could eat. Ask the kids, because after-all, they're the ones eating it!

Carol - posted on 06/22/2014

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Children will eat what you put in front of them and I mean what is in front of them. I never made junk food at home and always two vegetables and small amount of meat or chicken and lots of greens. Put good in and get good out. The body will run right.

Jbernsteinansaldi - posted on 06/10/2014

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I try to make fun pictures out of their food on the plate. It's silly, but my girls love it! Every now and then, I'm even able to sneak in a few veggies :)

Jen - posted on 06/10/2014

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It is not fun trying to get my kids to eat the proper veggies & fruits, but I try to make it fun for them by cutting the vegetables into fun shapes or making a contest on who can eat more of the veggies/ fruits!

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