The Battle for Nutritious Lunches
‘Food’- I never thought that word would be such a battle in my life. A battle in which I feel constantly defeated. How did ‘nutritious food’ become my nemesis? Well I had children and that’s when this epic battle began.
March is nutrition month and it’s the perfect time to remind ourselves that we can not be in control of everything when it comes to food- but we can be aware of the importance of nutrition and our health.
As parents we constantly feel the pressure to be providers for our children and clearly we want to push what’s healthy and what’s nutritious.
The problem is that your children do not always share your vision- they don’t quite see the importance of nutrition the way we do. They’re children, they don’t get it, but that doesn’t mean we need to stop trying, all it means is that we don’t need to be totally stressed out of our minds trying to get our kids to understand.
I have two little boys who are very picky eaters – lucky lucky me!
It’s such a hassle and it’s very stressful. Meal time is something I started to dread instead of looking forward to spending quality time together.
Now I realize- the stress is not worth it- it’s about doing the best you can and helping guide your kids in the right direction.
Sometimes you’re guiding your children without them even knowing it- and that’s where it becomes fun!
My boys love pizza, so two times a week we do homemade pizza night, it’s great because it’s an easy meal to get them involved with. They like to add their own toppings and sprinkle the cheese- and when it’s baked they feel a sense of pride that goes along with the meal they’re eating. One of my best kept secrets for homemade pizza night- I secretly sprinkle shredded kale on the bottom just after I apply the tomato paste. They have no idea it’s there!
Veggies can be a hit or a miss when trying to incorporate them into your child’s diet- another way that I’ve been able to get them into my children’s meals without a hassle is by making homemade meat balls. I dice the peppers, onions and mushrooms to the tiniest pieces possible and mix them into the ground chicken or lean ground beef and turn those into meatballs which they love. To add some tenderness- I add some feta cheese in there as well- So Good!
There is an Indian dish that I love to make for my little guy- it’s called ‘Kitchari’ which is pretty much a lentil and rice soup. The reason I love this soup is because you can add your favorite veggies while it’s cooking- Zucchini, asparagus, spinach, onions, turnips, parsnips etc.- After it’s cooked I blend it together into a creamy curry soup which he seems to love- and in turn keep mom, me, super satisfied.
Snack plates seem to be a hit in our house as well, a time where I don’t make a deal about the food but just happen to place fruits, veggies, nuts, seaweed, and cheeses on a plate in front of them and just let them decide what they feel like- kids love that! They want to feel in charge sometimes too!
Not all of us are blessed with those kids that love to eat everything all the time, it’s just nice to know you’re not the only one that has that fussy eater- trust me you are not- Just remember you can’t win every battle and that’s totally ok!