Tuesday, February 12, 2013

How I Keep My Picky Eater Healthy

I am constantly struggling with Madi and her eating habits. She won't touch anything green, and has just now started to eat meat. She loves chips, crackers, and candy. The only decent things she'll eat are fruit, cheese, nuts, and yogurt. But, that group of food lacks a lot of things that I need her to eat. So, I have started getting creative with how I get the good stuff into her diet without her knowing it.
This girl does not like to slow down to eat. She is always focused on something else and doesn't have time to sit and eat a meal. So, I make smoothies a lot. I blend up ice, yogurt, almond/coconut milk, fruit, and a crushed up (high quality) multivitamin and give it to her in a cup with a straw. Usually, she drinks it with no problem and can carry it around and drink it as she wants to.
She will always drink milk. So a lot of times I give her almond or coconut milk in lieu of cow's milk. I truly believe in variety. So switching it up allows her to get different vitamins/minerals/fats than she would normally. She doesn't mind the taste either. She thinks it's a smoothie. I, personally, can't stand the taste of almond milk. But hey, if she likes it, that's awesome.
I NEVER give her low fat/light/reduced fat anything. Kids with growing brains NEED fat to grow, in every way. Good fat, I mean. Not fatty fast food, but real food that naturally contains fat (yogurt, milk, nuts, etc). Giving them food pumped with fillers and lacking the essential fat is only hindering them. I buy Greek Gods Yogurt. It's full fat greek yogurt with no added sugar or ingredients. She loves it and I love giving it to her. All of those pesky fake carb-loaded foods are what I worry about giving to her, like nutrigrain bars, poptarts, cookies/crackers, etc. If you want to read my opinion on the importance of real food, you can read that HERE. But those brains need that fat to grow, so give it to them!
I also set up her food a certain way on her plate. I usually try to give her one thing she loves, one thing she likes, and one thing that she hasn't tried yet. I also try to give her the "main course" or the meat/protein portion first. If I give her it all first, she usually fills up on the stuff she loves and then just picks at the stuff I need her to eat. If she's hungry and I give her the meat portion, she'll eat it right up. Usually.
I crush up a multivitamin and a vitamin d3 tablet and put it in yogurt or a smoothie. Not all supplements are created the same. I use this brand, click HERE. That eases my mind a lot. Some days, she just isn't as interested in eating, but she always gets those two supplements.Or at least is offered them. She doesn't always finish the yogurt, but any little bit helps.
I try to give her a lot of tea (un/lightly sweetened), water, and milk. I don't usually give her juice unless it's in small amounts and 100% juice not from concentrate. That's just a quirk of mine though ;)
This girl loves trail mix. Raisins, nuts, yogurt covered raspberries, dried fruit, etc. I never pass up the chance to give it to her. Her diet doesn't include a whole lot of protein, and trail mix is mostly fats but the protein in it definitely helps some.
We play outside and are active and moving constantly. This little girl never lacks activity or sunshine on her skin. And when I get discouraged about the food part of her health, I remember her pediatrician telling me, "If she's hungry or lacking in something, she'll eat, I promise." So, these are the steps I use to help ease my mind, what do you do to make sure your little one is getting the things he/she needs?

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