Kids are always learning, exploring, and creating, and that means they are using up a lot of energy! As parents, we know that giving kids healthy, nutritious meals gives them the fuel they need. But if you have a picky eater on your hands, what do you do? Our friends over at Yumble are dedicated to helping take mealtime stress off parents’ plates. Keep reading for their tips on how to get even the pickiest of eaters to enjoy healthy foods throughout the day!
It’s called the most important meal of the day for a reason. These tips will help you set your little one up for a successful day.
Green Eggs (and Ham): We love this Dr. Seuss-like tip. Adding greens like broccoli and spinach is a great way to add fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants to your kids’ diet. If your child is picky when it comes to textures (and don’t worry, a lot of kids are), making food creamier can make them easier for kids to eat. For green eggs, simply use a blender to blend the greens in with the eggs and you’ll get a fluffy, tasty scramble!
Overnight Oats: For an easy breakfast that can be personalized to each family member’s tastes, try overnight oats. For example, if you love chia seeds and your kids don’t, put the oats in different jars and customize them. It’s also a great way to give kids the feeling that they are choosing their own food. As you’re making your oats, lay out a ‘buffet’ of healthy toppings and let your child make their own serving of oatmeal for the next morning.
Mix It up With Muffins: Breakfast muffins are a triple threat. Firstly, you can bake them over the weekend and eat them for several days after. Secondly, getting your child’s help with the baking has many learning benefits. And last but not least, it’s easy to sneak healthy ingredients your kids might not get in other meals into breakfast muffins. A healthy diet is made up of healthy fats, proteins, and vegetables. If your child isn’t getting enough of these, you can add coconut oil for a healthy fat, ground flax seeds for protein, or zucchini, beetroot, or sweet potato for an extra serving of veggies.
Lunch can interrupt your child’s day, which can make it a tricky meal for picky eaters. These lunch tips from Yumble will get your kids excited about eating healthy!
Wrap It Up: Give your child wraps with healthy fillings. If your little one doesn’t mind leafy greens, you can use lettuce or collard greens. If they aren’t as adventurous, veggie-based tortillas or rice-paper wraps are fun to use. Wraps are also another great way to squeeze in ingredients your kids aren’t getting enough of. If they need more protein or fats, you can use thin meats and cheese for the wraps. And Yumble’s experts highly recommend cutting the wraps up into pinwheel bites. It makes the wraps easier to manage and is way more fun to eat!
Making Faces: You can use rice cakes, a healthy spread like hummus or cream cheese, and cut up veggies or fruits to make funny rice cake faces for your kids. You can also give your kids the ingredients and let them get creative! They might not try new ingredients straight away, but as you present them regularly with options, they’ll start to experiment with new designs and flavors.
Go for a Dip: Veggie-based dips and sauces are also great for sneaking in healthy ingredients. Kids love the smooth, creamy, and saucy texture, and dunking wraps and sliced celery or carrots into a sauce is fun for little hands! As an added bonus, sauces and dips are super easy to make and often can be frozen. Make one big batch, freeze it in smaller containers, and pull it out whenever you need!
Dinner is a great time to show kids that mealtime is a social activity. Kids can feel a lot of pressure when it comes to eating, so Yumble’s experts recommend giving kids space to enjoy their food. These tips turn eating into a family fun time, instead of a battle or a chore.
Create a Salad Bar of Toppings: Having make-your-own pita pizza, burrito bowl, or taco bowl nights are fun, interactive ways to encourage your child to try new things. Your child might stick to the safe and familiar options for the first few times you do this, but as they become more familiar with the ingredients and as they see you enjoying those foods, they will start to get curious and try new things.
Change up the Cutlery: Using utensils like chopsticks or fun and different cutlery changes the focus of the meal. It takes the focus off the kind of food that kids are eating and it gets them to focus on how they are getting that food into their mouths! From a learning perspective, using different ‘tools’ during mealtime has many benefits for developing fine-motor skills and hand eye coordination.
One New Thing at a Time: Kids need to think something is familiar before they are willing to try it. If there are too many unfamiliar things on their plate, kids are likely to say they don’t like a type of food. One strategy for overcoming this is to only introduce one new food at a time. Doing this makes the food seem more familiar and puts it in the context of foods that they know and love.
You might disagree, but we believe dessert is really the “most important meal of the day.” To end your day off eating on a healthy note, check out these delicious dessert ideas from Yumble’s nutritional experts.
Parfait: To quote Donkey from Shrek, “Parfaits may be the most delicious thing on the whole planet!” Joanna, Yumble Co-Founder, says that her kids love assembling their own parfait. It lets them feel like they are choosing and creating their own dessert — who doesn’t love that? Create a dessert bar of yogurt, fruits, seeds and nuts, and a crunchy layer like granola, and everyone will be happy!
Apple Donuts: These donuts are even better than Dunkin’s and can be used for dessert or as a snack throughout the day. All you have to do is cut an apple into thin slices and use a small cookie cutter to make a hole in the middle. Once you have your “donuts” ready, you can top them with nut or seed butter, or yogurt. Lastly, use tasty toppings like sprinkles, chocolate chips, or healthier versions like berries, nuts, and seeds, to really get that donut look.
Banana Sushi: These might sound exotic, but are super easy to make. Evenly spread nut or seed butter over a whole wheat tortilla and then place a peeled banana in the middle. Roll it up, slice it, and serve. It’s that easy! To make it even more fun, take our tip of changing up the cutlery and use some chopsticks.
Thanks to our partners at Yumble for these nutritionist (and mom) approved tips! If you’re interested in making mealtime stress-free and fun, Yumble delivers meals full of regionally-sourced fruits and veggies, specifically designed for kids. And even better, they are offering 50% off for first-time subscribers. You can claim this offer by using the code HOMERYUMBLE*
Yumble provides healthy, fun, prepared meals for kids, solving the challenge of putting real, kid-friendly food on the table.
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