Mom, not again?


How many times has this been shouted across the dinner table with that face of complete and
utter torment? Some tried and true favorite that is out of vogue with the younger set and now
it will not cross the sealed lips of the tyrant tike in your home!

Well, most moms (and dads) can remember the time, unfortunately all too well. Therefore I would like to examine some of the easier, likable foods that we use (a little too regularly perhaps) to entice our difficult descendants to consume healthy choices with gusto and excitement.

My 3 tricks/tips in the game of fruit consumption.

1.     Camouflage It

Take some of the more solid fruits like apples and melons and disguise them. Either by cutting them in unusual shapes (cookie cutters work well here) or put them in dishes where they are not normally seen. Try a sauce for a meat or fish dish with diced apples or pineapple. Puree melons and use them as a whipped topping for sherbet. There are many ways you can use pureed fruits and this site has tons of examples on how to use them to add fresh, appealing choices for those clamped shut jaws. Another way to put camouflage to work for you is with a little food coloring. This doesn’t work for all kids but often boys go through this “gross” phase and green and brown are cool colors for food. So if you need to take the pink out of the strawberries you just smashed add a little green food coloring for the “gross” look.

2.     Dip It

Today, yogurt comes in all colors and flavors so try some experimenting. Take the favorite of the day yogurt and put it in a bowl along with the approved fruit list chopped and cubed to prepare a dipping party. Granola, raisins, even nuts can be added for a little extra crunch and fiber. My kids love fondue so I take this party to a new level with skewers and a fondue pot. Don’t have to heat anything but it sets the tone for a party atmosphere. Of course chocolate fondue ranks right up there with the best of them so try a healthier alternative with this coconut, chocolate dip: or this one which is non coconut: Have fun, experiment and even get those tikes to help invent the newest and greatest taste-a-thon!

3.     List It

As with vegetables you must declare a favorites list prior to shopping and preparing. My son went through a three year love/hate relationship with pineapple and I learned the hard way. Fresh pineapples when available and canned varieties stored were ignored and discarded in my household when the hate phase was in full bloom, so ask before you shop and frequently!

When tempers and dispositions are in good shape, take the kids along for an “exploration” in the fruit isle. In my household, we discovered pomegranates, star fruit and mangos by allowing their eyes to be the guide rather than the names. Kiwi was another fruit that magically made it in the grocery cart one day because it was fuzzy and felt good!

Often when they do the picking, their curiosity has been peeked and they will want to explore the options for their food item in the kitchen. Again, this must be managed as an attitude adjustment day is not when you want a kitchen helper. Put the fruit quietly in storage until the atmosphere improves and have fun!

We all want our kids to eat foods that are healthy and nutritious. Unfortunately with the onslaught of processed, boxed, bagged and sugared choices advertised and marketed to our kids this battle can become never ending. However when we make the process of preparation and consumption a game of exploration and invention often the younger set will join in to test their creative, artistic talents and once they put their fingers in the sauce normally they can’t help but taste their recipe!

Working to make nutritious eating a daily event for families!

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  1. children

    Hi Donna,
    Thank you for sharing us these tips on how to let our children eat healthy foods without any difficulty. I also liked the recipes you’ve shared here.
    Felicia recently posted..Durrr wins 357k

  2. enjoyed

    Felicia, I am glad you enjoyed them. Do you have any recipes of your own that work? Tricks or tips? Please share!
    Donna Thomas recently posted..Mom- not again

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