8 Healthy Eating Ideas for Parents

As first time parents, my wife (Lindsay) and I are trying to prepare ourselves as best as possible for our son (Gavin) arriving in April. Making sure the room is ready, the crib is put together, all the right baby items are purchased and picking out a name are all fairly easy in the prepping process. How do we know how often to feed him? How do we know when his cry means he is hungry, needs a diaper change or doesn’t feel well? How do we know if something is hurting him? Those are all things that get us a little worried! My wife got a subscription to Parenting magazine hoping that would offer us some insight for what to expect.

She puts the issues on the coffee table after she goes through and marks the pages she wants to refer back to. While I was watching the news before work one day, I picked one up and started leafing through it. I couldn’t help but notice the sections talking about food; quick breakfast ideas, how to get your kids to eat vegetables, etc. I noticed most of these options were healthy ones, but I couldn’t get past the unhealthy ones!

I’m sure kids can be picky eaters, but I don’t agree with crushing up potato chips as a batter for chicken tenders and dipping them in “fry sauce” (ketchup and mayo mixed together). Now don’t get me wrong, they did have some good ideas like chopped pecans for the batter dipped in peach jam. I get that my wife and I might have to make food interesting for them to eat, but why can’t it all be healthy?

Here are a few good ideas I saw in the magazine for healthy eating:

1. No short-order cooking – don’t keep cooking the same foods over and over.

2. Don’t keep junk in the house. “Out of sight, out of mind.”

3. Be consistent about what’s verboten – don’t back down on your rules about eating all your veggies!

4. Keep it fresh and simple – grow and harvest some of your own foods.

5. Introduce a new food paired with a familiar one.

6. Food-truck lollapalooza – visit a healthy food truck.

7. Destination: Dinner safari – take out a globe and have your child point to a country he/she is learning about in school and make foods from the country.

8. Call of nature – if you visit a farmer’s market, educate your child on where the fruits and veggies were grown.

“Picky eaters are made, not born.” That quote stuck with me when I read it. My wife and I are going to do our best to teach our children how to make healthy choices.

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