Trust me when I say, overhauling a 3 year olds diet is met with fewer days of resistance than trying to change a 10 year olds diet. The solution for many parents trying to implement a new healthy eating program, is to make teeny, tiny, itty, bitty changes. Small changes can have big impacts, and sometimes the kids won’t even notice.
Give them less sugar at breakfast. Kids can still eat their cereal, but mix half of the bowl with their favorite cereal, and half with a sugar free cereal like Chex, Cherrios, or rice Krispies. If they like sweetened instant oatmeal, mix half of the sugar packet, and half a packet of plain.
Change what the kids are drinking at lunch. Send water in their lunch or 100% fruit juice instead of sugar infused juices or soda pop. My kids love little 8 ounce water bottles to take to school. When I buy single serving juices, my Costco has Capri Sun’s 100% juice for the SAME price as the Capri Sun’s with sugar.
Buy Baby Food! Even if you don’t have a baby, purchase baby food jars of pureed carrots, squash, green beans, and other vegetables. Whenever the chance presents itself, add the puree’s to sauces, baked goods, or smoothies.
Purchase single serving packets. I caught my kids once carrying my 6 lb bag of pretzels to the couch to watch TV! Right now is the perfect time (with Halloween and all) to buy single serving processed snacks like pretzels if your kids need a little portion control.
Replace all food items that contain trans fats. Check your labels. If you have granola bars or crackers that contain trans fats, get rid of them in favor of brands that have already removed their trans fats from their food products.
Replace white bread with whole wheat. I know this is met with resistance by many kids, but experiment with different whole wheat breads. There are plenty of breads now with a super smooth texture and light appearance. Just make sure the first ingredient says whole wheat.
Add one vegetable to one meal. Just one. Add a piece of broccoli to lunch today. Add a carrot to snack time. Or add a green bean to dinner.
Replace crappy peanut butter, with homemade almond butter. When its between two slices of bread, do you really think they’ll notice?