Jess Reiche

healthy kids

Kids Can Eat Healthy Too!

My biggest kid pet peeve? Kid food.

Why is it okay to put chemicals in kid food? Why is it okay to give kids 2 slices of white bread with a piece of cheese inside and call it a meal? Why is it so frickin hard to have gluten free food on a kids menu in a restaurant? Why do we still have full sugar (and even added sugar) juices with cartoon characters on the packaging?

Well, it’s because these are all companies who are relying on ease, convenience, addiction, kids begging for elmo anything and the cheapest production costs possible. The overall answer is, because COMPANIES DO NOT CARE ABOUT YOUR KIDS HEALTH. THEY CARE ABOUT MONEY.

And ya know what? THAT’S OKAY.

WHAT?? HOW?? Well think about it. So many people fight to keep the government from telling them how to raise their families. Heck, many people don’t even want the advice of their parents on how to raise their kids. So isn’t it time that we stop blaming companies for our kids health and take responsibility for those little lives that God has put in our care? No one has to buy anything – we choose to buy it.

Yup. I said it. Parents need to educate themselves on healthy ways to raise their kids. They need to learn to say no and expect the fits that will occur. Parents need to stand their ground for their children’s sake. We need to raise our kids to be the adults the world needs.

A little dramatic? Maybe. But true? I think so. Chew on those thoughts for a few minutes and then move forward. Think of ways to help your kids eat better, feel better and live better.

Here are a few ideas:

  1. Cut down on junk food. Gluten-free cookies or regular, they’re all loaded in chemicals or sugar or both. Save sweets for special occasions or at least make them memorable by creating them together in the kitchen.
  2. Have a fruit bowl. In the fridge I keep a bowl of whatever fruit is in season/on sale/a family favorite and the kids enjoy getting to choose anything they want from the bowl as a snack.
  3. If they’re dippers – have healthy dips! Pinterest has recipes for avocado and healthier dips for veggies. My kids love dipping fruit into almond butter. Have fun discovering new and healthier ways to enjoy food!
  4. Air popped popcorn. Popcorn is a super treat that you can control. Sometimes it’s just a little salt, sometimes it’s butter, sometimes it has melted chocolate drizzled on top. It’s fun, it’s versatile, and it’s not a sugary treat.
  5. Healthy “cookies.” I’ve found that if you call something a cookie, kids will think it’s a treat. We make breakfast “cookies” a lot – mashed bananas, rolled oats and raisins baked together. There are so many ways to make treats that have no added sugar – another great reason for Pinterest!
  6. Order non-kid menu food at restaurants. Appetizers and side dishes are great sizes for little people. Share your dish with them. Let them explore real foods that grown ups eat!
  7. Take them food shopping. I know it’s a PAIN to go food shopping with kids. But letting them pick which apples you buy or how many green beans to put in the bag lets them be a part of it. You can teach them why you’re buying healthier foods and get them excited for how many ways you can cook them in the kitchen. Include them and help them find their joy for cooking too.
  8. When it seems too hard – it probably is. Don’t beat yourself up when you let your kid eat cake. And ice cream. And grilled cheese. And no fruit or vegetables for a week. You’re not a bad parent for being human. As you can, pick yourself up and start over.
  9. Everything in moderation. I’m not unrealistic. There is nothing wrong with a little (watered down) juice or some chips with friends. But maybe not after muffins for breakfast on a night that daddy wants to go out for ice cream after dinner. In most kids it’ll just lead to horrible behavior and a much harder tomorrow when you try and give them veggies as a snack.
  10. And lastly, be an example. Don’t give your kids carrots and hide in the pantry eating cookies. Show them that you love being healthy (even if it’s not true!). Control yourself and your cravings. (And if you really can’t (like I couldn’t at one point, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK). Teach them to cook and bake. They love you and want to be like you – so be a role model and save that double chocolate cake for a date night while they’re fast asleep 😉

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