5 Mom hacks to get kids eating healthy foods
Elaborate food art isn’t my thing. It’s just not. Some moms are amazing at it and love to do it, and i’m impressed by what they create! Their kids undoubtedly love it too! Make food fun- especially new stuff, and it’s usually a much easier sell.
Then you have our house. We’ll call it ‘no frills’. Around here, no one gets fanciness that takes more than 20 extra seconds of hands-on food prep.
If you are like me and can’t find it in you to make sandwiches & veggies into unicorns or jungle scenes, here are a few ‘no frills mom hacks’ that are so quick yet effective in getting kids eating healthy foods.
No-frills Mom Hack #1: Stickers
You know how you go to the store and suddenly your kids must have the box of fruit snacks that has Cars or Dora the Explorer on them? You can do that. Just grab a pack of your kids’ favourite character stickers, and spruce up a plain old plastic bag. Apple slices and carrot sticks are super fun when they have Batman or Princesses on them. It’s amazing.
No-frills Mom Hack #2: Toothpicks
Toothpicks should be in every mom’s cupboard, even if you don’t ever bake cakes and need a toothpick to test the middle, because you can use them to serve veggies!
Chop your veggies into cubes and serve each the ‘fancy’ way for little eaters- speared on the end of a toothpick.
This works well with roasted root veggies like sweet potato, carrots, beets, or cubed cucumber, chopped peppers, pieces of sweet snap peas, mushrooms… basically anything that will stay on a toothpick. It’s just a bit more fun and is so easy.
You could also just give your child a toothpick and let her spear veggies off her plate too.
(Obviously, only for kids who are old enough to know not to poke their face with it- or their brother’s leg, etc).
No-Frills Mom Hack #3: Faux ‘Sprinkles’
We put sprinkles on everything. To my boys, it’s normal for me to ask ‘do you want sprinkles on your oatmeal?’ and then hand them the container of hemp hearts.
‘Do you want to put the sprinkles on the muffins?’ Chia seeds make awesome sprinkles.
Sprinkles can also look like coconut flakes, flax seed, sesame seeds, or pumpkin seeds.
So instead of just offering hemp hearts “because they are so healthy”, or worse yet…adding them without permission (the very height of bad, apparently), offer sprinkles. Trust me. They are way more fun.
They get to take a little pinch of ‘sprinkles’ and spruce up breakfast themselves. Less than 20 seconds for that one. Score.
These fruit sweetened chocolate-cherry muffins are an example of our hemp heart ‘sprinkles’ in action.
No-Frills Mom Hack #4: Serve lunch in a muffin tin
This gives control back to your kiddo- especially great for the independent little preschoolers who ‘don’t like that’. That being whatever you are having for lunch that day.
Lots of ‘little bits’ usually take away all arguments. Some muffin spaces can have familiar and loved foods, other spots can be for something new! Once you start, just be warned that you better be able to fill each spot, or someone will likely be pointing out the grievous error! 😛 (Hint- choose a 6 hole muffin tin!)
Mom hack #5: Picnics
Try new food in a new location. It’s amazing how eating somewhere out of the norm will mean less fussing about what’s for lunch! A picnic doesn’t have to be during a hike in the woods. (Lucky for me as I’d be hoofing it quite some distance on our treeless plot of prairie here!)
A picnic can be under the table.
It can be AT the table by putting a ‘picnic blanket’ on the table.
It can be in the basement.
It can be in a blanket fort the kids make while you put lunch together.
It can be in the garage.
It can be out in the backyard in the playhouse.
It can be anywhere. Pretty much calling something a picnic grants it ‘fun status’ with nary a unicorn sandwich or jungle scene complete with lion faces and cucumber trees in sight.
So there are 5 hacks for my fellow ‘no-frills’ moms. Give one a try! I’d love to hear how they go over in your home.