No matter the best intentions, or how hard you try, it isn't realistic to expect your children eat everything you pack for them. Case in point, when I was in school, I'd often trade food with my friends. Albeit rice balls to chicken fingers. There was a variety of foods within arms reach. So, how can you get your children to eat the food you've made with so much love?
It all starts at home. When we are young, we don't realize the subtle nuances from what is good or bad. We just know what we like and don't. Albeit, cross-cultural influences or simply their picky eaters. Let's go over what kids like to eat. Interestingly, the younger you are, the more taste receptors you have, while, the older you get, the less taste receptors. But, depending on what kind of food your child is growing up with, this might matter what they like to eat. Most often, their taste of sweetness is enhanced. Enough about the science of it all, let's get into the foods.
1. The Crunchy PB&J Sandwich
It's important to understand the order of eating. If you consume foods that are too salty or sweet, the whole meal is going to be bland. This is probably why children don't like broccoli. It isn't sweet, nor is it salty. In combination, with the enhanced taste receptors, it will taste even blander or even bitter to them.
That is why the classic PB&J Is so good. It has protein, salt, and that sweet jelly. With whole grain bread, no wonder why it is so popular in the US. Bonus Tip: Add some crunch, as well as a banana inside the sandwich to level up your taste buds. Note that this works with little to no jelly. There is a thing as too sweet. Second Bonus Tip: Add crushed Novacrisps to the sandwich. It's gluten-free, non GMO certified, and is never fried. Especially for those with allergies, it is a perfect alternative to other potato chip snacks.
2. Cinnamon Cookies
While, little kids aren't known to have the most pleasant fragrance, no one wants their kids to be known as the stinky kid in class. Cinnamon have many practical benefits, one of which is reducing body odor. "Researchers have found that it [also] reduces drowsiness, irritability, and the pain and number of headaches."
3. Low Fat Yogurt
It's been established that milk has vitamin D, and it strengthens your bones, but it contains choline. What is wrong with choline? Well, it causes bad body odor. Yogurt on the other hand, counteracts the odor-causing sulfite compounds in the body. Bonus Tip: Add some crushed, naturally sweet Novacrisps into the yogurt will make it a little more enjoyable. Additionally, dairy products may not be the best way to go, since they cause excess inflammation.
4. Apple Slices with Peanut Butter
Healthy eating involves a lot of factors, such as smell, look, texture and, lastly, taste. Ripe apples look delicious and have a sweet aroma. Due to the oxidation when sliced, it doesn't look as good over time. But, the benefit of eating apples outweighs the brown appearance. The crispy fruit reduces bad breath. Instead of giving them those sweet sugary drinks like apple and grape juice, give them the actual fresh fruit. It has natural sugar, contains fiber and is a balanced diet for any growing kid. It also allows sustained blood sugar throughout the day.
5. Fermented Veggies and Drinks
There are many benefits to this. While fermented products don't smell great, it is an important part of your body's development. Where vitamins such as B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12 and K are produced. It may also produce good bacteria. Be sure to have a healthy diet of plant - based foods that are high in fiber.
Plus, when you start at an early age, your children's sense of smell will develop into something that associates this to a good smell instead of bad. Developing your children's sense of smell will allow them to be more creative and think in other ways.
One of the best drinks that are fermented is Kefir. It can be made in a variety of ways, be it low-fat milk, or sugared water. The byproduct will help with digestion, and clean your children's digestive system by flushing out the bad bacteria.
A balanced diet doesn't necessarily have to be so black and white. By eating healthy meals, including the ones above, in moderation, you will be on your way to a healthy weight, as well as, eliminating sugary foods and drinks from your diet. Healthy choices start with healthy foods. By that, I mean, try to stay away from drinks such as apple juice. If you read the product label, it most likely state that it has x amount of sugar.
From childhood to adulthood, not only the physical aspect, but how they eat changes. Two things change, their sense of smells, and their taste for sweets. Developing their sense of smell, and then taste, will not only allow them to have a healthy dose of sugar, but also to become more creative, thinking outside the box. Rather than drinking juices and soft drinks, allow your children the opportunity to eat better by eating solid foods. It will allow them to develop better gut health, as well as, socialize since they smell better.