Processed Food Junkies

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foodRamen noodles, mac & cheese, and chicken nuggets. Those are the only foods cleo2582 says her 9-year-old will eat. Processed foods--often high in sodium and saturated fat-- somehow taste awesome to kiddie palates. In cleo's defense, they can seem like an easy answer when your children are picky eaters--and you don't have a lot of time to cook from scratch. I cook yellow rice from a box pretty regularly and always feel guilty about all the salt.

Is the solution as simple as not providing these things for your child? AmiJanell thinks so. "I wouldn't let him have those things...he'll get hungry and eat what you make him. Just don't give in for anything... he won't let himself starve," she says.

rkoloms defintiely agrees, but also has loads of advice that any mom who wants to break the processed food habit can use:

  • You have to stop buying junkfood; picky eaters are created not born.
  • Here are some minimum requirements: 7-8 servings of fruits/vegetables a day in at least 3 different colors; 7 servings of whole grains a day...
  • Take your child to the library, pick up kids cookbooks (I love Pretend Soup); there is also a great kids cooking website spatulatta.com.
  • Take your child to the grocery store & let him pick out a new vegetable or fruit to introduce to the family (shredded jicama in salad! grilled pineapple!).
  • Kids love to dip. Make whole wheat pasta, like penne, give him a dish of marinara. Cut up veggies (carrots, broccoli, zucchini, lettuce, cherry tomatoes), give him a dish of ranch dressing or hummus. All kids love peanut sauce.
  • Have ethic dinners: Indian, Thai, Greek etc.

Inspiring. We're definitely going to try the salad with grilled pinapple.

Do your kids love processed foods like nuggets or mac and cheese from the box?


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