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I've been wanting to do an example kid meal post for awhile now and so I've been working on this post for awhile. Trying to photograph the kid's food is much harder than mine. They eat on Target plates from the dollar bin so most of this isn't pretty.
My kids DO NOT eat paleo. I've said this before in a post: The decision to drag your kids into something as restrictive as paleo isn't an easy one to make. I'm not a nutritionist or a doctor. I can experiment with my body and can decide if something doesn't feel right for me. My kids are sticking to whole healthy foods including dairy and grains.
I'm not a perfect parent and I'm sure what I'm about to type will bite me one day but my neither of my children are picky eaters. Here's what I think has helped that.
Keeping it simple.
I really try to feed my kids whole foods and I just like things simple. It usually ends up fresh and both kids eat better if it's simple. I've found that they eat more when there are just a couple things on their plates instead of a variety. A lot of times I put everything into one thing. Whole wheat tortilla with cheese, broccoli and chicken for dinner. What else does it need? Carb, protein, veggie, dairy. Done. Less clean up, healthy, and easy to make.
Maybe I go a little too far with this one. I have the kids meals already planned out. I know on Monday they eat oatmeal for breakfast and a pbj for lunch. Tuesday they have waffles for breakfast and mac-n-cheese for lunch. This helps me feel less overwhelmed with meal time and I can always deviate from my meal plan. Plus it helps on the grocery bill. I buy the same things all the time.
It is obvious that LB is a good eater but so is the squirrel. Both will try just about anything and there are very few things they don't like. However, sometimes it can be a struggle. With squirrel it's all about presentation. For instance, if she has a hotdog it's in a blanket (bun). Chia seeds and granola are sprinkles on yogurt and toast. I cut toasted waffles into strips to dip into syrup. Sometimes we have a picnic outside or inside. She loves it when things are hiding and she has to find them. She likes to find peas hiding in the shell pasta. For a snack she loves to break open edamame pods. And the child will literally eat anything on a stick. I mean anything.
Make a boxed cake mix. Let them eat nuggets and french fries. Use a can of green beans. Make them a box of mac-n-cheese! Having those options keeps me sane sometimes. It's nice knowing that it's OK to give into convenience foods once in awhile. My children eat goldfish crackers, chicken nuggets, french fries, and teddy grahams.
Some of our favorite kid friendly prepackaged things are:
Squeeze applesauce packs
Atlanta Fresh greek yogurt
Annie's cheddar bunnies
Alexia sweet potato fries
All natural peanut butter
Kodiak Cakes pancake mix and syrups
Amy's frozen cheese pizza
Applegate Farms chicken nuggets
Here are some meal examples.
For breakfast we do toast, oatmeal, waffles, cereal, overnight oats, french toast, and pancakes. They love peanut butter and syrup on waffles and pancakes. Breakfast is always served with fresh fruit and whole milk.
-Whole wheat toast with grassfed butter and local honey + strawberries.
-Waffle with natural peanut butter and pure maple syrup + banana.
-Overnight oats (whole milk, rolled oats, yogurt) with granola + banana.
-Waffle with grassfed butter and blackberry syrup + blueberries.
-Cheerios with milk + pear.
-Whole wheat toast with grassfed butter and pumpkin butter + blueberries.
-Chocolate chip pancakes with grassfed butter and pure maple syrup + banana.
-Whole wheat french toast with grassfed, pure maple syrup, powdered sugar + strawberries.
-Whole wheat cinnamon raisin toast with grassfed butter + blueberries.
-Oatmeal made with milk, bananas, and brown sugar.
-Whole wheat toast with blackberry jam + pear.
-Waffle with peanut butter, chocolate chips, and pure maple syrup + raspberries.
Lunch is hard with both of them. They would eat nuggets everyday. And since they are kids they do eat nuggets... Sometimes... If they have nuggets I definitely make sure it's balance with fruit and veggies. They also love mac-n-cheese. Instead of buying the boxed kind I just cook whole wheat pasta then add cheddar cheese and a little bit of butter. It melts perfectly and is super yummy. We rotate mac-n-cheese, pbj, cheese and crackers, nuggets, and grilled cheese.
-Grilled cheese on whole wheat bread with grapes.
-Mac-n-cheese (noodles, cheddar, and a little butter), cooked carrots, turkey.
-Grilled cheese on whole wheat with strawberries and carrots and ranch.
-Organic boxed mac-n-cheese and peas.
-Turkey, crackers, grapes, cheese.
-Nuggets, strawberries, broccoli.
-PBJ with lima beans
-Grilled cheese, cooked carrots, yogurt.
-Peanut butter and honey sandwich with apple.
-Mac-n-cheese (noodles, cheddar and butter), carrots, and kale chips.
-Mac-n-cheese (same thing... noodles, cheddar, and butter) plus broccoli.
-Nuggets, lima beans, and oranges.
Dinner is whatever we eat that's paleo and then I make the kids either brown rice, whole wheat pasta, or a tortilla.
-Chicken, wild rice, green beans.
-Soba noodles, veggies, chicken.
-Chicken, corn, and cheese quesadilla.
-Brown rice, baked chicken, roasted cauliflower, broccoli, and sweet potato.
-Whole wheat shell pasta, peas, and parmesan dressed with olive oil.
-Whole wheat rotini with olive oil and parmesan with broccoli.
-Broccoli and cheese quesadilla and strawberries.
-Leftover supreme pizza. (yep she eats it!)
-Brown rice, baked chicken, steamed broccoli and carrots.
-Amy's frozen cheese pizza and broccoli.
-Baked chicken, brown rice pilaf, and corn.
Snacks are a staple in our house. They expect snacks at 10am and 3pm everyday. It's crazy how their little bodies work!
-Peanut butter graham crackers
-Bananas and peanut butter
-Cup of organic juice
-Sabra hummus with Kashi crackers
-Cup of milk and half a banana
-Chex mix with fresh blackberries and cashews
-Strawberries and cheese
-Cashews, dried papaya, and banana chips
Both my husband and I agree on everything when it comes to feeding our kids. I'm lucky he believes in the same things I do. There are two things we think are important. Exposure to different foods and involvement.
Let them be involved in cooking.
And teach them where food comes from.
I really try to focus on what they DO like, not what they don't. They both like broccoli, kale, carrots, sweet potatoes, and lima beans. Neither like tomatoes, peppers, or mushrooms. That's OK! I don't push it. Try to look at all the good things they DO like.
Try to understand that:
• You will probably throw away more food than you want to.
• They may like something one day and not like something the next day.
• They may not like something one day but like something the next day!
• Everything evens out. If they don't eat that broccoli one day try to look at the weeks meals.
I hope this helps answer some of your questions!
*PLEASE REMEMBER- Disclaimer: I am not a registered dietician nor do I have any type of medical training. Anything documented on this blog is my personal opinion or a learned experience.