VALERIELORRAINE thanks for the ideas! I had never considered making extra of my 4 year old's meals and freezing those.. that makes a lot more sense! They're smaller and he's the one who often requests alternatives to what I have planned. And too funny about beans and honey! Kids can be so strange - my son's favourite meal is "corn tacos." Yes, tacos with corn instead of beans/tofu/other veggies.
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My daughter is very picky and eats a limited diet. I do not want to make food a battle. I was 3 when I decided to be a vegetarian and my parents battled me over it for years. 25 years later I am still a vegetarian and I am pretty sure my kid is just as stubborn as her mommy. I do make her try new things a couple nights a week so this is not all she eats but it is the majority of her diet. I also talk to her about food. She is almost four now and I am really starting to see some progress in getting her to try new things. She gets the rest of what she needs from vitamins. I do not have a ton of time to cook separate meals so I keep the following items on hand for nights when I know she will not eat what I am having:
white beans and honey- I cook the white beans and flash freeze so that I can pull the beans out and microwave the beans whenever I need something in a hurry. I serve the beans with honey. It is gross but little one loves it.
Sweet Potatoes- I cook these, mash them with margarine and cinnamon, and freeze in silicone cupcake holders. Once frozen I transfer to another container. This makes it easy to pull out one portion at a time. Sometimes I even puree something green and mix it with the sweet potatoes.
Banana Bread- I make this homemade using healthy ingredients. It is another good opportunity to sneak some pureed veggies in. I freeze some of it.
Sliced Apples Grapes Yogurt Oranges Bananas Sliced cheese veggie burgers veggie nuggets soybutter hummus oatmeal Strawberries Carrot Juice Milk Pasta Rice and boca crumbles
Thank you all so much for the ideas!! I think I definitely need to be a bit more creative when preparing food for us all. I have also found that getting my 4 year old to help makes him much more interested in eating whatever it is we're making, even if he only has a bite.
And I love the point that eating healthy isn't an option. So true, and so important to teach them that now!
Teach your kids about how its important to eat healthy.
When I taught in pre school. I would teach the kids how its important to keep their hearts healthy by eating fruits and veggies.
One day one of the parents kids (the kids were twins) came in and told me that they were very worried about their kids eating habits cause all they wanted to eat was junk food, one evening at dinner the kids starting eating broccoli, the parent asked the kids why they were eating broccoli and the kids said cause my teacher said we need to feed our hearts fruits and veggie to keep our hearts working. So its important we teach kids why we do things.
Starting off gradual and letting the kids know that we will be eating healthy foods at meal times from now on. Set the new rules at mealtime that they have to try the new foods you are serving them. And be firm about the new changes. advenually they well come around. Just remember kids will eat when they are hungry and don't make a big deal with eating.
By the way i use a heart treasure chest curriculum from the American heart association ( I'm not sure if they call it that any more) But you can just go to the library and check out books on healthy for kids.
Hi LIFE IS NOW welcome to the team, can't help you. I don't have any kids but you have got some sound advice. good luck and take it slow and let them help prepare the foods, that will add some time but is worth it. I think they will be more likely to eat something they helped prepare also give them choices
Hey there! I have three children ages 15, 11 and 7. When we began our vegetarian journey together five years ago, they were 11, 8 and 3. I start simply with beans or lentils and brown rice as a side dish or roasted white, yellow, red or sweet potatoes as a side. We didn't start using tofu as protein until about two years ago, so if your kids don't like it that's okay. However, you can make a tofu scramble that uses eggs too, and then slowly cut out the eggs until it's just vegan. Make foods the kids recognize and introduce new foods slowly. My kids love mashed potatoes... I make them with the water from the boiling and a little kelp powder for saltiness. If the kids want to add butter because that's what they're used to, then let them use just a little bit. My kids love roasted vegetables because they're so sweet. We'll cook up a pan of parsnips, carrots, peppers, potatoes, yams, etc. Keep it simple... they'll come around. We have a list of about 30 recipes that we all love and lately we've started a menu:
Monday - Mexican Night - vegan guacamole with corn tortilla chips, refried beans in corn tortillas with homemade salsa and corn, nachos made with vegan cheese, jalapenos, tomatoes, Mexican ground round, Mexican soup.
Tuesday - American/Canadian Night - veggie or bean burgers, veggie hot dogs, homemade homefries, edamame in the pod, or other cooked vegetables on the side.
Wednesday - Comfort Food Night - vegan Shepherd's Pie, Mac and Cheez, mashed potatoes with veggies and tofu sticks.
Thursday - Breakfast for dinner - pancakes or tofu scramble with toast.
Friday - Pizza Night - my kids' imaginations make for some really interesting pizza toppings, I also make homemade vegan pesto.
Saturday - Ethnic Night - Vegan Pad Thai, Chana Masala over baked yams, Chinese.. whatever we like.
Sunday - Italian Night - Usually spaghetti sauce simmered with fresh veggies and then pureed. homemade garlic bread.
Vibeke ~ Health nut, green mama, plant eater, raw food enthusiast, reformed wino, environmentalist, compulsive recipe collector and lover of tattoos.
I don't have any kids but I have a husband with a very limited diet. He doesn't like vegetables and I mostly eat vegetables. You might think that you don't have time to make two meals but it really isn't that hard. I do it all the time. There are about 5 meals that he regularly eats and at this point I can make them in my sleep. While his food cooks I prep my food. I try to eat 50-80% raw. I also bulk cook the cooked food I eat. About twice a week I make a stew or vegan chili and that lasts 3-4 days. After making it, which takes about an hour start to finish, it only takes minutes to heat up. Very quick.
Prep work is also key. Try to find an hour or two, maybe on the weekends, when you can do all your veggie prep. Wash them and even cut them so they are ready for use. I also find that washing them and then storing them helps them to last longer. It takes some getting used to but after a while the multitasking becomes second nature. You can also encourage you kids to try at least one bite of your meal and see if you can't find something they like so some days you can all eat the same thing. Most kids like fruit. so you can start there.
If you eat meat and your main dish is meat based maybe you can make that for all of you and then simply add a few different sides for yourself. As your kids get older maybe you can also get them involved in their food prep. Learning how to cook is a very valuable skill. The four year old may be able to wash vegetables or other simple things like that.
Edited by: LISA01605 at: 12/14/2011 (11:30)
Being happy doesn't mean everything is perfect. It means you've decided to look beyond the imperfections. -unknown
I'm a single mom of a one and four year old.. and having a hard time balancing the needs of my diet with that of my unadventurous children. I also don't have time to prep two meals for both myself and my kids several times a day. Anyone have advice for cooking for the family?
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