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Old 10-11-2010, 11:02 PM   #11
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I always hide veggies in other things. When my kids were little I would puree veggies and add them to tomatoe sauces for spagetti and add them to burgers and meatloaf. Kids will eat almost anything deep fried. I tried deep fried green pepper rings one time thinking it would not go over but they loved them. Using veggies to make funny faces on food works sometimes too. You could make faces with veggies on a pile of mashed potatoes. While I agree with the other folks about being in control of their food (that's pretty much how I rasised my older boys) I now find it impossible to feed my daughter the same way because she has so many more options than kids used to have. Most notably she has access to garbage foods at school. They feed them crap that I would never give her at home. Unfortunately DH thinks she should have lunch like the other kids at school and won't let me make her lunches. Then everywhere they go they are given crap, a the the grocery store (samples) at the bank (candy), from the neighbors who always thought she was cute and would give her cookies and other sweets every day. I think today the best we can do without being ogres is to make sure that we prepare good nutricious foods and give them plenty of variety and pray that they grow up to follow our examples.

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Old 10-11-2010, 11:33 PM   #12
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In addition to the awesome suggestions above, have your little one involved in the food prep. S/he can place the ants on the log or stir while you cook. If you have a garden, have your little one have his/her own garden patch or allow him/her to select something new in the produce department at your grocer while shopping there. My mother use to cut my sandwiches in fun shapes and let me decorate my food with healthy options. Instead of carrot slices, she made carrot daisies by cutting wedges before slicing. I think the more small ones get to help make items, the more likely they will be to try it.


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Old 10-11-2010, 11:42 PM   #13
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When the fridge is open kids should see already cut up carrots, celery, fruit. Leave it in cups on the table for run and snackin'.
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” - Albert Einstein
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Old 10-12-2010, 12:26 AM   #14
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for pre-schoolers, i agree with ss and andy (they don't call him auntie em for nothing).

you are 95% of their world still, so they'll eat whatever you make available. and of course it helps to make things fun.

this time of year, apple picking is a great way to involve kids in both understanding where food comes from, as well as having fun picking and eating it.

once kids are in full time school, however, they'll start being influenced by things you can't control, like other kids whose parents don't mind letting their kids teeth rot with sticky candy, so it's imperitive that you get good lessons down now. one of my son's classmates just had to have 3 root canals on his baby teeth, and his mom seemed surprised. apparently, she fed him candy all day long.

reading books that talk about healthy eating helps as well. i remember one of my son's favourites was from a tv cartoon called "lazytown". the hero, sporticus, lost all of his energy from eating candy and fell out of a race. but when he ate healthy fruit, he was able to rejoin the race and ended up winning. we backed up those ideas by snacking on fruit after we read.
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Old 10-12-2010, 07:31 AM   #15
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I like lead by example and simply provide the right stuff and don't buy the wrong stuff. Yes, they'll eat cr-p when they go to their friends' houses, but just make it there for them at home. My father's favorite snacks were apples, which he carefully cored, melons (not like now, when you can get them any time). Big junk food binge? A can of fruit cocktail and scoop of ice cream. But only as an occaisional treat!

My nephews became healthy eaters when they started to like dipping things. So a sliced apple and a bit of some king of dip (fruit or honey yogurt comes to mind) just made them happy.

A lot of children like child-sized portions. That is to say, fruit (fresh or dried), nuts, vegetables, etc, put in small bags so that whatever they have is theirs and theirs alone. Buy some of the smallest, cheapest baggies, and make them a snack that just belongs to them (if you have a lot of kiddie buddies, make them a bag as well, to keep on hand).

But if Mom and/or Dad are sitting on the couch, watching TV, eating garbage, then don't expect the kids to be out playing in the sun and eating fruit.

Oh, another good one is a baked potato. Sweet or regular, with some toppings, for dinner. Just don't turn the sweet potato into a desert type dish. Just bake it.
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Old 10-12-2010, 07:47 AM   #16
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Children in the 3 to 8 year old range are wondering what to do with themselves, so they look toward us adults. They begin by emulating those grownups whom they have decided they want to be like, and that includes eating habits.

Whether they've ever liked them before or not, if they see someone they respect and want to be like eating carrot sticks, you can bet that they'll soon be eating carrots sticks too, and say they like them now.

If their self-appointed mentor sets a good example, they will follow. But you can't be hypocritical, they'll see right through it in a heart beat!
"Food is our common ground, a universal experience." - James Beard
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Old 10-12-2010, 09:05 AM   #17
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My grandson enjoys his salads and other fresh veggies.

However, one of our special treats is to eat jelly beans while watching sports, the Red Sox or Celtics are his favorites. We aren't giving that up.
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Old 10-12-2010, 09:20 AM   #18
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Kids can only eat what they are given. And no one will starve if there is food available. They may complain they are starving, but if they are really hungry they will eat what is there.

When our daughter was young we were very good about only offering healthy options. We have gotten worse at it as time has gone on though and have found ourselves buying more junk than I would like. because it is in the house and the kids see it and see us eating it then they ask for it and it becomes a battle.

The key is starting them early eating veggies and fruits. If it is all they know then they will find what they love and that will stick with them. My kids both love fruits and usually veggies. they will often pick fruits over other sweets when given the choice now. I do not think that would have been the case if we did not have them eating only fruits and veggies from a very early age though. I think if they got used to sweets first then that is what they would want.
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Old 10-13-2010, 11:48 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
However, one of our special treats is to eat jelly beans while watching sports, the Red Sox.
andy, couldn't it be considered child abuse making him watch the sox if you didn't give him the jelly beans?

"Thunderbolt and lightening,
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Old 10-14-2010, 12:38 AM   #20
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Starve em out.

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