Getting kids to eat takes creativity, patience and, sometimes, a bit of luck. 52 Moms Talk Food is my exploration of how inspiring moms make it happen.
A working mom of 2 young children, Rachel and her husband live in Greensboro, NC. She took a few minutes to chat with me about how she encourages her kids to eat their veggies.
Q: You have two young children. How are their eating habits?
Rachel: My kids have always been great eaters. I fed them healthy foods when they were babies and they have always eaten well, until recently. They are becoming more picky as they get older.
Q: What is your food philosophy?
Rachel: Fruit is our #1 snack. We always keep a lot of fruit around, and the kids love to snack on it between meals. I don’t make separate meals for anyone, but I will modify a meal for the kids. If I’m making green beans with almonds for my husband and me, I’ll take out green beans for the kids before adding the nuts.
Q: You’re a busy working mom. How do you get a healthy dinner on the table?
Rachel: I don’t make a separate meal for anyone. Who has time to make a second meal? Our meals tend to be traditional and easy-to-make… usually a protein, salad and a vegetable. We make veggie-heavy family-style stir-fry and chili dinners, so the kids can pick and choose how to personalize their meal. (Check out Rachel’s favorite chili recipe below.) And, we always offer a variety of veggie options. If the kids aren’t in the mood for cooked vegetables, we usually have raw veggies like carrots and cucumbers around as a back-up.
MY TAKE-AWAY: I love that Rachel doesn’t cater to her children’s food whims, but encourages them to make their own food choices. By offering the kids a variety of vegetables and fruit, she’s ensuring that there will be some produce they like and allows them the freedom to choose what they want to eat that day. Rachel also told me she participates in her workplace-based organic produce CSA, which is a great way to expose the whole family to a variety of colorful (and sometimes exotic!) vegetables.
“This is so easy and the kids love it! I also adapt the recipe: I only use 1 lb ground turkey and omit the sirloin. I usually serve the dish with a side vegetable like broccoli as well.”
MOMS (AND DADS) WELCOME: Do you have a story to share? If you’d like to be featured in 52 Moms Talk Food, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.