Kids will eat when they are hungry so I agree don't make it a battle.
Teaching kids about who your body needs fruits and veggies to grow and be strong is important to do. When kids know why they have to eat fruit and veggies and not junk food they will coroporate more. Get books from the library and and get some activities the kids can do .
Just keep serving the food you want them to eat. It takes about 11 times for them to like a food they have never eaten before. If they see you enjoying it, eventually they will begin to enjoy some of those foods too. SOME of those foods. They will still have some foods that they will not like. Serve them veggies they like at every meal. If they like carrots and green beans now give them carrots and green beans at every meal and introduce one other new one at each meal. Let them look through a book and choose the new one to try. Cook it lightly, crisp tender with no salt and let them try one bite. Ask them to describe it to you. Broccoli looks like trees. Give them sauce for dipping make a scene for them broccoli trees, green bean grass, red pepper flowers with carrot stems, give them dipping sauce. Let them build a face with fruit pieces and eat it for lunch. Look at Laptop Lunches for Ideas. If they help you cook they will eat the food. Make it fun. Don't make it a battle. Children like to dip things so always let them dip their lettuce wrapped parboiled crisp tender carrot stick in a honey mustard sauce, or a dip a banana in a honey peanut butter sauce. Pinterest also has great ideas. The good news is your kids are young. Here is a wonderful link:
How old are you daughters? I had one son who didn't want to eat a variety of fruits and veggies. The thing I wish I had known then was not to make meal time a battle ground. I once tried telling him that if he didn't eat his lunch, he would see it for dinner. I tried another time making him sit at the table until he ate his food. He sat but didn't eat. He was 4 1/2 or 5 at the time. When he was older, I just talked to him at each meal, when I served something that he didn't like, about just trying a mouthful. Those weren't good techniques, especially the first two.
I got the feeling you eldest might be a teen. Then I re-read your post and noticed that you said you had three little ones. Whatever their ages, don't make meal time a battlefield. Don't make it unpleasant. Your daughters should associate meal times and eating with pleasantness and good times with family. I have read that the best thing is to just introduce foods. That it sometimes takes a kid seeing something on the table or on their plate about 5 times before before the will want to try it. If you want to encourage them to try a new food, don't "encourage" them every time you serve something they don't want to eat. To them it can seem like brow beating.
Don't have foods you don't want them to eat in the house. Pack a lunch for them. Don't give them money that they can use to fill up on junk food.
I'm in the same boat! I started transitioning my kids (ages 11 and under) about a month ago. My first step was to simply stop buying any snack food (chips, crackers, pretzels). I keep lots of fresh fruit, baby carrots, sugar snap peas, and nuts in the house. If they want to snack, those are their choices. If they don't like those choices, they can wait until dinner.
He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it.
I am a GA housewife with 3 little girls. I am 40 and have 42 pounds to lose. I am committed to making sure my children know how to live a healthy lifestyle. The first step to make that happen is to lose the weight I need and live an active and productive life. My oldest daughter is the one that I'm worried about. She HATES veggies and fruit and loves junk. I am introducing veggies and fruit slowly but so far she is against it. Any suggestions you all might have to help me with that would be greatly appreciated.
SparkPeople, SparkCoach, SparkPages, SparkPoints, SparkDiet, SparkAmerica, SparkRecipes, DailySpark, and other marks are trademarks of SparkPeople, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
SPARKPEOPLE is a registered trademark of SparkPeople, Inc. in the United States, European Union, Canada, and Australia. All rights reserved.