Picture this… A gorgeously juicy fillet mignon… grilled asparagus drizzled in olive oil.. roasted potatoes with parmesan and rosemary.. a tall, icy glass of raspberry iced tea.. Ahhh, a decadent meal. You’re in a state of zen as your mouth absorbs the first bite. So many delicious flavors gliding against your tongue all at once.
Then… like a slap across the face you are warped back to reality with the sound of your children’s complaints. “I don’t want steak for dinner”…. “Ewww, what’s this green stuff?”… “I am NOT eating this”…
“What the heck is wrong with you people?!” These words may almost (or actually) escape your mouth. There couldn’t be a better dinner on the table than this. Why do our children insist on possessing such a small menu of accepted foods? How exhausted are we by all the chicken nuggets, pizza rolls, hot dogs, and mac-n-cheese meals we have prepared for our kids. It feels like a lottery win when they ask you for an apple for snack or banana slices on their cereal. Thank goodness for Nutella because they THINK it’s just chocolate on their waffles.
How do we break the chain of unhealthy classic kid meal requests? The answer is simple. Don’t give them a choice. Ever heard of the expression “take it or leave it” ? There it is. Your children WILL eat whatever you have prepared for dinner if they are hungry enough. Stick to your guns and make it clear that alternative requests will not be accepted. This isn’t Denny’s kids.
We want our children to be healthy and giving in to the ease of quick, microwavable meals all the time is not good for them. Make these favorite options a once in a while treat. It’s unrealistic to think that we don’t rely on these convenient options but everything in moderation.
It’s always successful to remind your kids that they will turn into a nugget if they eat too many of them. Also, sing the opples and bononos song to help encourage more fruit eating. Humor is the perfect outlet here. Celebrating, cheering and praising healthy choices will conclude with a healthier way of living for us all.