*This post is sponsored by Stonyfield Yogurt but all thoughts and Opinions Expressed are my own
5 Healthy Eating Tips for Kids
As a mom of two little ones, I’ve gotten pretty adept at feeding kids. My oldest, JB, is 7, and my journey with getting him to like healthy food has completely altered my own relationship with food. The bottom line is that most kids like sweets. I’ve got one heck of a sweet tooth myself, so believe me, I’m not one to judge. Still, I realized by the time JB was about three years old that we’d soon have some major feeding issues if I didn’t start making some changes in our household.
But I was lazy, and frozen chicken nuggets are so easy. Fighting with your kid(s) about food is one of those battles I refused to choose. I even asked our pediatrician about it and his response was, “kids won’t starve themselves. He’ll grow out of it in time.” He didn’t. He continued to exist on chicken nuggets, cheese, and cereal. It wasn’t until I had a chance encounter with a nutritionist that I realized that the problem began with me. My own diet was pretty cringe-worthy, and I didn’t necessarily make meal-time fun. With the help of this nutritionist, I learned that with a few tweaks I could change JB’s relationship with food, while simultaneously changing my own.
Without further ado, here are 5 healthy eating tips for kids you can use to get your picky eater to try new foods.
Be creative. Find different ways to prepare the foods they like.
Thankfully, both of my kids began eating yogurt at around 9 months old. Our favorite yogurt, and the one we still keep in our fridge at all times is by Stonyfield Farms. I gravitated towards this brand because it’s been around forever, and there’s something to be said about brands we’ve grown up with continuing to make the foods we’ve always loved. I was also blessed to attend the Stonyfield Yogurt Virtual Farm tour a few weeks ago and it has really helped me to truly understand why Organic farming is so important.
First of all, let’s clear up what Organic actually means. I think most of us are aware that it’s better to eat organic food, but why?
Organic food is classified and regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and there are strict guidelines that must be followed before a food can be labeled as organic. When your food is USDA organic it means that it is made without
- growth hormones
- artificial colors/flavor
This means that Organic farmers must also adhere to animal welfare requirements. In comparison to cows raised on conventional farms, organic cows have to be outside for at least 120 days a year, and more than half of their diet must come from grazing. Of course, as mentioned above, no pesticides can be used on the farm, so the grass the cows eat is organic as well! Happy, healthy cows means the milk they produce tastes better than non-organic milk.
Also, Organic farming is better for the environment.
Since organic farmers don’t use pesticides this results in better soil quality and reduces pollution. Instead of chemical fertilizers, grazing cows on Organic farms helps to fertilize the soil on the land. The healthy soil on organic farms helps to combat land erosion. Erosion affects the land, people, and the environment. However, organic farming practices help to prevent erosion.
Stonyfield Organic is my family’s yogurt of choice
And the reasons why are both simple and plentiful:
- Food produced via organic farming is tastes better and is better for the environment.
- 37 years in the business so they know their stuff. Stonyfield began during a time when small organic farms were dying, yet the owners were so committed to helping our environment while producing top of the line dairy products that they continued to operate at a loss.
- Stonyfield Organic gives back in so many ways. It’s no secret that organic food costs a little bit more than conventional food, however, Stonyfield isn’t in it for the money. They give back to the community in a myriad of ways. The #PlayFree initiation is one of those ways.
According to their website:
“Stonyfield Organic’s #PlayFree initiative. provides resources and actionable steps for consumers to make a switch to organic lawn maintenance at home. Stonyfield Organic has teamed up with 14 new communities to convert outdoor fields and parks to organic grounds management. Since the launch of #PlayFree in 2018, Stonyfield Organic has contributed over $2 million dollars to the initiative, teaming up with 35 communities nationwide to assist with their transitions to organic grounds management and bringing organic model fields to millions of people.”
I could go on, but I’ll stop there. When thinking about ways to bring nutrition to your children, it’s important to take a holistic approach. With my older son, I can actually talk to him about the benefits of Organic farming so he can feel good about the food he consumes. So it’s more than food, it’s about being healthy while also helping our communities and our planet.
With that, let’s continue learning ways you can help your kids eat healthy foods.
2. Eat with your kids
I know this sounds like a no-brainer, but I didn’t eat with JB. When he was younger, I’d simply put him in his high chair with an iPad and let him eat whatever I had prepared (and by whatever I mean chicken nuggets and cheese cubes). By setting aside the time to eat at least one meal with my children, it’s changed how we all experience food. Instead of it being this singular activity one can theoretically opt-out of, it’s now become a group activity. And no one wants to be left out of the group. Now dinner time has become an event of sorts, a time we all look forward to being together.
3. Hide the veggies but tell your kids what’s in their food.
I like the idea of mixing veggies into a yummy fruit smoothie, however, I think it’s important for kids to know that they are eating veggies. Veggies have such a bad reputation with kids that I think we help to remove the stigma by being forthcoming about when veggies are included in their meal. We do continue to mix veggies in with our sweeter meals (like spinach blended into pancake batter), but we’re also forthcoming by letting the kids know what they are eating. No more being sneaky! That being said, I love smoothies. I always have, and since my kids have always loved Stonyfield Organic Yogurt, I’ve taken to preparing a smoothie a few times a week to make sure my kids are getting their veggies. Here’s this week’s recipe:
Healthy Smoothie Recipe for Kids and Adults Featuring Stonyfield Yogurt
3-4 large heaping spoonfuls of Stonyfield Organic Yogurt.
Frozen Berries (Strawberries, blackberries, and/or blueberries)
Spinach and/or Kale
Chia Seeds (for extra protein)
Date Syrup for sweetener
4. Relinquish control
What this means for grown-ups is to not make a fuss about a kid who doesn’t want to eat what you’ve prepared. This shouldn’t be a frequent occurrence if you are, indeed, making a concerted effort to find various recipes that include the foods you know they like. However, when it happens, it’s important to ask your child to take one or two bites. Then one or two more. If your child insists on not eating the meal, let it go. Like my doctor told me years ago, kids won’t starve themselves. Choosing to not eat what we prepare will present the natural consequence of hunger. Once your child realizes that making this choice results in the unpleasant feeling of hunger, said child will, in time, choose more wisely.
5. Vary meals/recipes frequently
Once I discovered JB liked frozen nuggets, I prepared them so frequently that soon it became one of the only foods he’d eat. That’s why variety is so important, especially with early eaters. Keep it exciting and new. Your kid will always have their favs (hello Stonyfield Yogurt), but they will be more open to trying new and healthy foods when you are constantly presenting new and healthy foods.
If you’re working with a child who has settled into their ways of being a picky eater, give yourself and your child a good 3-4 months to adjust to the new way of eating. Baby steps. Kids are notoriously stubborn and if you inject anger or frustration into your food-training you won’t get very far. Instead, keep it light, fun, and easy-breezy. No punishments, and no force-feeding. In time, your child will adjust to eating a more varied menu of foods and you’ll feel better about your child’s diet.
That’s all folks! Share your tips below!
Hey, Boo! My name is Lisa and you’ve stumbled upon my own little corner of the world. I’m a 30 something-year-old writer/mother/wife who happens to love lipstick, high heels, blackness, and the truth. You’ll find a mix of everything on this site, so I won’t bore you by trying to define this space. I hope you stay awhile!