"That's why when I have kids, every time I drive by a fast food restaurant, I'm going to punch my kid in the face. Then they'll never want to come."
-Morgan Spurlock, Super Size Me
Let me first start off by saying, by no means, have I figured this out. As soon as my kids were old enough to get in the fridge or grab stool and climb into a pantry, they started sneaking all the bad foods I was trying to hide.
Like most parents, I break down because of time constraints, convenience, and sometimes I give up because they ask so many times I just say "Take it!" But as I'm toasting chocolate chip Eggo's and pouring syrup on them to give my kids for breakfast, I can't help but think I'm not teaching them or doing them any good nutritionally.
So here are a few tips that I thought could work in helping your kids (and actually you too!) to eat better.
1.Don't buy crap food. A basic rule of thumb is, food in the house is food that will be eaten. If you have Oreo's and Ice Cream in the house, like bloodhounds, your kids will find it no matter where you try and hide it. Worse than that, you will eat it just so they don't find it.
2. Give them water and stop buying juices. Those big bottles of red juice that say 100% vitamin C don't tell you they give you 300% sugar for the day. Make water their main beverage. Sports drinks like Gatorade only if they've earned it with a lot of actual sweat, and soda is always a no go. I tell my kids soda is poison water. It's worked thus far.
3. Make breakfast nutritional. I know this is the hardest meal to prepare. It's really easy to throw 10 cardboard pancakes in the microwave, throw them down on some plates and pass them out like a lunch lady. But because of the importance of breakfast in things like energy, brain function and even focus, it's important to get this meal as nutritious as you can. Eggs, whole wheat toast, some cheese, water or milk is a good way to start. As they get a little older you can introduce them to the breakfast super shake as a part of their meal as well.
4. Pack whole foods in their lunch . I remember eating Little Debbie Swill Rolls, Lunchables, and washing it all down with a 16oz Coke for lunch. It's a wonder that diabetes didn't strike me in my teens. Instead of bad snacks, granola bars and highly processed foods, replace as many things as you can with whole foods they will eat. If they like any fruits and veggies, send them. Send a banana, grapes, sliced apples, broccoli, baby carrots, sweet peppers or anything else of this nature they will actually eat.
5. Teach them about food plates. Something I did when my kids were young was teach them about what a food plate should look like. You can use the simple resource by the USDA . Or, in my opinion, can use a better version offered by Precision Nutrition in the article in this link .