Getting the Family In On Healthier Eating
We get it - meal time can feel like a daily battle instead of the intended enjoyable family time. Today we're sharing some tips on how you can help the picky eaters in your house to eat more fruits & veggies. Plus, some of our fave healthy foods to blend-in that give a mega-nutrition boost without impacting taste and setting up a 2-minute build-your-smoothie bowl bar.
Don't be a short-order cook: preparing a separate meal for your child (routinely or after the original meal is rejected) may promote picky eating.
Respect your child's appetite — or lack of one: if your child isn't hungry, don't force a meal or snack. Likewise, don't bribe your child to eat certain foods or clean his or her plate. This might only ignite — or reinforce — a power struggle over food. Serve small portions and give the opportunity to independently ask for more.
Stick to the routine: serve meals and snacks at about the same time daily.
Monitor beverages: juice, milk or other higher-calorie beverages throughout the day might decrease appetite at meal time. Tip: dress up water with ‘fancy’ ice cubes like frozen grapes and cherries.
Be patient with new foods: young children often touch or smell new foods without eating them. Repeated exposure to a new foods may be needed before taking the first bite. Serve new foods along with your child's favorite foods.
Make it more fun: cut foods into various shapes with cookie cutters. Offer breakfast for dinner. Serve a variety of brightly colored foods (oh hey, berry smoothie bowls for dessert!). Check out our 'build-your-own smoothie bowl' station below.
Recruit your child's help: at the grocery store, ask your child to help you select fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods. At home, encourage help with cleaning produce, if old enough - set up a child-safe veggie prep station, ask them to tear greens, set the table and even participate in meal planning.
Set a good example: if you eat a variety of healthy foods, your child is more likely to as well. Avoid stocking your cupboards with any more than one or two ‘sometimes’ treats.
Minimize distractions: turn off the television and PDAs during meals (yours, too) to help your child focus on eating. TV advertising might also encourage your child to desire sugary or less nutritious fast foods.
Don't offer dessert as a reward: withholding dessert sends the message that dessert is the best food, which might only increase your child's desire for sweets. Tip: select one or two nights a week as dessert nights and skip it the rest of the week — or redefine dessert as fruit, yogurt or other healthier choices.
Some of our fave foods to 'tuck' into baked goods, smoothies, and sauces:
Zucchini: try blending 2/3 cup into a nutty-chocolate smoothie, or add to muffin and bread batters (aim for 2 cups per batch of 24 for baked goods).
Cauliflower: try it in almost any smoothie (aim for about 1/2 cup per smoothie), tomato sauces (about 1/4 cup per serving). Coming this Spring in a couple of our new blends.
Spinach: a reluctance to eat greens is often a visual reaction as much as taste. Try adding spinach into darker colour smoothies like berry base ones. If the colour green is ok, try blending them with slightly sweeter fruits like banana and mango. One smoothie should easily tuck-in 1 cup of spinach without over-powering the taste. Homemade veggie-fruit popsicles are a summer win.
Avocado: blended into dips, smoothies and sauces - it gives a creamy texture and huge nutrition boost.
Create a Build-Your-Own Smoothie Bowl Bar
Have you checked out our Kid Faves blends? We've done the work of making sure our smoothies are complete-nutrition (good balance of carbs, proteins, healthy fats and essential nutrients), never any sugar-added, and already done the veggie-tucking-in for you. Blended or straight-from-the-pack with a spoon (like ice cream).
Try setting up a build-your-own Blended smoothie bar so everyone in your house make their perfect bowl.
Choose any pack from our Kids Faves line up!
Let soften and blend with 1/2 cup liquid
(we opt for unsweetened coconut & oat milk)
(place in small bowls)
Unsweetened shredded coconut
Baked granola (no sugar-added)
Yogurt (coconut or Greek - avoid sugar-added)
Pro tip: bowls are great any time of day (lunch anyone?). Use one pack for two mini bowls as a dessert or snack.