In this fast-food, High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), chocolate milk, Skittle, Capri Sun, cake, cookie, ice cream, no-vegetable-to-be-found, hot dog, white bread/pasta, microwave, cereal, pizza, corn chip, soda, Gold Fish, Cheese-It, chicken nugget society in which we live, it can be difficult and frustrating to feed kids healthy. Luckily, I have some tips for you to be able to feed your kids healthy frustration-free and avoid the aforementioned garbage.
Kids will adopt healthy eating habits when we set the example for them. The key is to start as young as possible and teach them that eating healthy and nutrient-dense is normal. My kids are currently 3 and 6 years old. When we clear the junk out of our pantry and put great-tasting vegetables in front of them, they will do it. Oftentimes when people see my children eating salads or vegetables, they are surprised. Seeing a child eat vegetables should not be surprising. In fact, it should be the norm.
I’m sure there are books on this subject. Because I want to give you something concise that you can put to use without making this post as long as a book, let me break it down.
For breakfast, we need to get rid of the sugary cereal, white-bread mentality. Here are some of my kids’ favorite breakfast options:
- Food For Life Ezekiel Muffin with soy-free Earth Balance Buttery Spread and a serving of organic fruit.
- 3 Bakers gluten-free toast with a serving of organic fruit. Note: One does not have to have a digestive disorder to enjoy gluten-free products.
- FiberScrumptious healthy high-fiber mini muffins and a serving of organic fruit.
- In a pinch: Cliff Z Bar – chocolate brownie flavor.
- In a pinch: Trader Joe’s Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bar.
- Avoid school lunches at all costs. Currently, I reluctantly allow my son to eat a school lunch once a week.
- Earth Balance non-GMO peanut butter or Applegate organic chicken sandwich on 3 Bakers gluten-free bread. Organic cucumber slices, and/or organic grape tomatoes, and/or organic baby carrots with some Himalayan salt and pepper. Mary’s Gone Crackers, Skinny Pop popcorn, Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies, etc. Optional: Annie’s Fruit Snacks.
For dinner, I serve a main course with a side of organic cucumber slices, and/or organic grape tomatoes, and/or organic baby carrots, steamed organic green beans or broccoli, or organic greens salad with extra virgin olive oil and vinegar dressing. Below are some main course options.
- Applegate gluten-free or regular chicken nuggets.
- Spaghetti made with grassfed beef or Amy’s bistro burger “meat” and organic brown rice spaghetti noodles.
- Tacos made with grassfed beef or Amy’s bistro burger “meat” using a Garden of Eatin’ non-GMO taco kit.
- My daughter also loves tempeh, but I haven’t gotten my son to try it yet.
- Whole Foods fresh pepperoni pizza or Annie’s frozen pizza.
For snacks, I pretty much simulate unhealthy choices and replace them with healthy options.
- Instead of Nutrigrain or other HFCS Bar -> Trader Joe’s bar, Clif Z Bar, Larabar, etc.
- Instead of Cheese-Its or Goldfish -> Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies or Party Mix
- Instead of potato chips -> non-GMO chips or Mary’s Gone Crackers – you can find many varieties at Whole Foods or in your grocery store’s health food section.
- Instead of Teddy Grahams -> Annies version of the same
- Organic fruit – my kids love apples, bananas, grapes, and strawberries
- Shakeology cookies. My daughter loves them. We make a batch, and they don’t last long. This is also a great quick breakfast option.
The key with desserts is to watch out for the food additives like GMOs, HFCS, aspartame, etc. I have pretty much narrowed down my kids’ dessert choices to the following two items, and they are more than thrilled to enjoy these. I never feel guilty allow them to have dessert.
- Edy’s Fruit Bars
- So Delicious Ice Cream Sandwiches
Please refer to notmilk.com.
We don’t microwave. Click here for more info.
It really saddens me to see parents giving their 2 and 3 year olds sodas. Did you know sodas do not contain real sugar? Nope, they are made with HFCS. And you certainly don’t want to give your kids “diet” soda, which is usually made with artificial sweeteners like aspartame. Luckily I have found a soda that tastes great and is beneficial to your health. It is called Zevia and is available at Whole Foods and on amazon.com. I have an autoship set up on amazon.com where I get 24 cans per month; that arrangement entitles me to a discount and free shipping. I never feel guilty allowing my kids to have Zevia. I even let them have it with breakfast!
Juice and Sports Drinks
Beware of HFCS and artificial colors. The only kind of juice we do is Uncle Matt’s Organic Orange Juice or Lemonade, or occasionally I may buy Simply lemonade. Mostly, my kids drink water and Zevia.
This is a tricky one. Candy is not just loaded with sugar and fat like it was when I was a kid; now we have to worry about all sorts of food additives like GMOs, HFCS, artificial colors, etc. If the problem was just sugar and fat, I wouldn’t be as concerned. I don’t buy any candy for my kids, and they don’t miss it. If they are at a party or something and there is an opportunity to have candy, I usually let them have one piece/package/etc. I do let them have a piece of cake and ice cream at a birthday party. I do let my kids eat some Halloween candy, but I usually throw it away after they’ve had a little. Here are some options that work great for us.
- Annie’s Fruit Snacks
- SPRY mints
- Organic dark chocolate – My daughter loves, but my son won’t touch
- Trader Joe’s jelly beans – I occasionally buy these
Conventional gums are sugar-free and loaded with aspartame and other toxic GMO chemicals. SPRY makes a beneficial gum that is sweetened with xylitol, which is a natural sweetener. My kids love this gum, and I let them have as much as they want. You can order SPRY gum here and find a $10 off coupon here.
This one is VERY tricky because restaurants are usually very toxic. In this department, I usually just try to keep my head above water. The key here is just to avoid eating out as much as possible. I have a found a few restaurants where I will take my kids and not feel too horrible about it: Moe’s, Chipotle, EVOS.
Vitamins and Supplements
Some people think if you eat healthy, you don’t need to take vitamins or supplements. I wholeheartedly disagree. Currently, I give my kids Organic Life Multivitamins. I mix 1 tbsp with a small amount of Uncle Matt’s Organic Orange Juice to improve the taste. Whatever you do, do not give your kids Flinstones or other conventional multivitamins. Additionally, I give them Nordic Naturals Children’s DHA Strawberry Chewables fish oil capsules – 2 with breakfast and 2 with dinner. My wife and I also take multivitamins and fish oil, among other supplements. We also own a Kangen alkaline water machine as good quality water is essential for optimal health.
I hope you found these tips helpful. With the child obesity epidemic in full force and the default behavior to feed kids synthetic garbage that their bodies don’t recognize as food, the cards are stacked against us. But with some concerted effort, you can remove your children from this situation. Feel free to contact me at the link below, or leave a comment with any questions.
To Your Health,
Stewart Forscher, Team Get Super Fit
p.s. I hope you found this post helpful. Please click one of the social media buttons below and share this article! If you have any questions, please ask them in the comments section below or contact me.
Note: This post is for information only, and the product(s) mentioned is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any dis-ease.