Why We Should NEVER Give Up on Teaching Kids to Love Healthy Food
|June 27, 2014||Posted by Stacy under Food education, Healthy eating at home, Improving school food, School lunch|
I’ve been pretty open and honest about my feeding struggles with my older son (now age 8). Over the years, his will-not-eat list has been longer than any Disneyland line that I’ve ever seen. Oh, how I’ve tried and tried to introduce healthy new foods, only to have him reject them, often without even taking a bite. Despite all the creations that I’ve placed before him, he’s steadfastly refused to eat most fruits and veggies, nuts, beans and even smoothies.
As a mom who cares deeply about food, it’s been difficult. And I’ll admit, I was starting to feel hopeless.
But lately, there’s been a shift. Seemingly out of the blue, my mac-‘n-cheese guy has decided to start branching out. Here are a few examples of the foods that he’s not only tasted but actually eaten in the past few months:
- A rainbow salad wrap made with shredded beets, rainbow carrots, mixed greens, walnuts and feta (thank you, Jamie Oliver’s Food Foundation!)
- A smashed chickpea and avocado sandwich
- Daily smoothies made with peaches, mangoes, carrots, avocado, banana and almond milk
- Pasta with broccoli
- Turkey chili with black beans
- Spaghetti squash with sausage and baby kale
Given that he wouldn’t touch any of it just several months ago, I’d say that he’s made great progress.
Bottom line: We can never give up on trying to teach kids to love fresh, wholesome food. Some kids take longer, and it certainly isn’t always easy. But if we KEEP BELIEVING and don’t push too hard, most will come around eventually.
When it comes to making improvements to school lunches or serving healthy snacks at class parties, many people will say, “But kids won’t eat it!” And it’s true, some may not at first. But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try. Teaching kids to love healthy food is a process, and it doesn’t happen overnight. We owe it to them to be patient and to never, ever give up.