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Fighting to give healthy snacks

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  • Fighting to give healthy snacks


    I've been watching my husband's 7 year old cousin after school for a couple hours during the week each day for a few extra bucks, and it seems I cannot get him to eat anything healthy without having to bribe him. I HATE bribing and I feel like it is going to do the opposite of what I want- which is encourage him to eat anything in its natural state.
    The only thing I can get down his gullet is apples and rarely baby carrots, peeled and chopped into tiny tiny skinny fingers. This is only if I tell him he can have his PBJ and milk after he eats them. (or whatever not really healthy snack his mom brings for him)
    He will cry and whine if asked to eat vegetables. His parents have had to deal with this for quite a while now and Im assuming are just beginning to not give in anymore. He had such a previous issue with sweets that his whole top row of baby teeth were rotted out and capped. He is also a big boy for seven (he looks 9) and has a bit of pudge about the neck and middle.
    I know there isn't much I can change of his habits in just two hours out of the day- but getting him to try new things is proving to be a losing battle.

    Any suggestions to moms out there who have had to struggle with their kids' diets? Any suggestions I can give to his mom to help her out with his diet at home?


  • #2
    time to get sneaky!


    i never had this problem but i've been having fun with recipes from "the sneaky chef". you'll learn how to make brownies with blueberries and spinach in them! plus the sneaky chef's recipes have less sugar and more fiber than the original recipes. You can check it out at

    try taking it more slowly. if he's used to taking un-healthy snacks, then he needs to transition to healthier foods slowly.

    it's also possible that everyone's been making such a big deal about his eating that he has built a defense system about it so that he tends to reject whatever everyone says. the way to deal with this is to be more nonchalant about it.

    hope this helps!



    • #3
      i agree, it doesn't seem like you'll be able to make much headway w/just 2 hours w/him and the bribing may actually have the opposite effect. why not just let him eat his snack that his mom packs for him and if he's hungry after, let him choose from some other healthy options. maybe present them in fun ways that he enjoys or helps create.

      if he's having such a terrible time w/food, there could be sensory issues going on, too. that would be up to the family to discuss w/the pediatrician.


      • #4
        theres a ton of healthy, yet delicious food kids can eat!!

        just got to find the right ones!!


        • #5
          I LOVE to cook. I also use a lot of Frontier dried veggies in everything and anything I can.
          I used organic beet powder in my Organic Strawberry / Yogurt / Agave freezer pops. It adds color, tons of vitamins and iron and no one knows. Same with Organic Spinach powder. Shrek pops to Shrek bread.
          I put powders and flakes into just about everything I make. Everything changes with time and kids become older and tastes change. I learned over time make it pleasant and don't fight.
          Zucchini and Carrots along with most seeds are great in any muffin.
          Making chocolate cake, well throw in some great prunes pureed and it enhances the chocolate and adds vitamins and fiber.

          I do a lot of vegan cooking as Ronnie is allergic to eggs and dairy doesn't settle well with us other than yogurt.
          I am working on a cookbook. Once I get it started, I will share the link.


          • #6
            I wanted to say this in a separate post.

            I have a mama in my local group where her child would refuse to eat Red food and they thought it was sensory issues.
            I listened to everything that they had kept track of and this is what found out.
            Red foods are generally high acid. The little girl had cold sores in her mouth so she learned if it was red it hurt. She was intuitively telling her family and doctors that "red" was hurting her.

            Sometimes there are medical issues that trigger a child not to eat. Allergies, illnesses... they instinctively know that something makes them feel not right, they just don't know how to put it into words. Keep track of the wants and not wants and you may find a pattern. It could be just a case of the eww I don't like that, but you may find more.

            There are also allergies that are not skin / system related, but brain related and those are harder to detect.


            • #7
              Trader Joe's has a ton of healthy snacks! theyre great!


              • #8
                It doesn't seem very fair to deprive him of what he's been given to eat by his mom. I think a better approach is one of abundance - having abundant healthy snacks available for him to choose from. Focus more on what he can have than what he can't.

                When he was younger and had the issue with sugar rotting his teeth, who was making the food decisions for him? My daughter chooses what to eat, but she is only able to choose from what I present, since she spends all of her time with me and dad and can't go to the store herself.

                When given a variety of healthy choices, the only choice that can be made is a healthy one.


                • #9
                  I agreed..if he's having such a terrible time with food, there could be sensory issues going on, too. that would be up to the family to discuss with the pediatrician...Really great.