How to Feed Your Kids Healthy Foods
Updated: Aug 3, 2021
Young bellies, brains and bodies need healthy food!
Like most, when our parenting journey began we were faced with the usual questions, for which we were totally unprepared: How do we make this kid sleep? How do we make this kid sleep? No really, how do we make this kid sleep? Oh, and how do we teach this kid to be a good person?
We were also presented with the ongoing challenge of feeding our rapidly growing children a healthy and wholesome diet. For us, this has meant guiding our kids away from refined sugars, highly processed grains, meats and processed foods in general. In the process, we’ve slowly transformed our kitchen into a whole food kitchen. Believe me, it’s totally possible! Teaching healthy habits to young children was, in fact, one of the big reasons I embarked on this LiveliFood journey.
So how do we keep sugars and processed foods away from our kids?
How parents feed their kids always feels so personal. We really don’t want our kids to feel like eating in a healthy way means missing out compared to the other kids around them. Rather than depriving our kids of ‘sweets’ and ‘snacks,’ we like to make them in the healthiest way possible. Making your own sweet and savory treats with the right whole food ingredients keeps food fun and delicious for everyone.
Keeping the fun in food and eating creates a healthy attitude as well as appetite. Our LiveliFood treats are so healthy that kids can literally eat cake for breakfast! As a family rule, we always keep homemade fruit ice creams in the freezer, so it’s not just cake on the breakfast menu… there’s ice cream too!
We’ve also found that involving kids in the preparation of meals is a great experience for them. Spending time in the kitchen together is an opportunity to teach kids about food, ingredients, flavors, how food grows and its effect on our body. That’s why we created short LiveliFood animations that you can watch with the whole family. The idea is that as they grow older, they’ll understand that what they eat impacts their immunity, energy levels and mood. Good food means more energy to learn and play!
Be creative with their lunch boxes!
When kids are excited to see what’s in their lunchbox each day, they eat more of the nutrients you’re working to get into their growing bodies. They get the energy they need and can pay better attention in class.
Here are some lunch ideas to get your imagination going:
● Put together a rice (or quinoa) and bean salad instead of yet another peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
● Add some protein with a boiled egg or a piece of tofu instead of throwing in a bag of chips.
● Give some cashews or almonds for an afternoon snack instead of a cereal bar or other packaged sweet treat.
● Include lots of fruit—fruit is sweet, delicious and full of fiber, vitamins and minerals. I like to mix it up as much as possible, packing anything that’s in season from bananas and apples to berries and papaya with shredded coconut.
● Add a little surprise every now and then! An unexpected food feels like a treat. It makes kids curious and excited to see what’s in their lunch each day, and to eat it!
Have some fun making lunches! Our LiveliLunch Boxes recipes have even more creative ideas for you. If time is an issue as you’re rushing to get the kids out the door and yourself ready for work—batch cooking can help make your mornings run smoothly.
A kindergarden story:
When our daughter started a new school, we found out that $1 ice blocks (aka popsicles) were offered to the students twice a week, even in winter! In the beginning, it was a hard battle explaining to our daughter why she couldn’t have one. She would beg for a buck every other day. She argued that everyone else at school was having one. Fair. But we continued to say no, that ice blocks and ice creams are for special occasions or a hot summer day treat, not for school days. Our approach was that every now and then she could buy one so she didn’t feel completely left out, but we did this less often as time went on. I came up with the idea that the days they have ice blocks for sale at school, I would put a special treat in her lunch box. That seemed fair to her and made her happy. She never asked for a dollar again. Some of the special treats she gets are coconut water, a boiled egg with a face drawn on the shell (which she loves and I have fun making the faces :), her favorite fruit (like pomegranate seeds or pineapple), or sometimes she asks for a pack of seaweed or some rice crackers with her favorite cheese and olives. Every now and then we make bliss balls or banana cupcakes just for those special days.
The point being, a little creativity goes a long way to keeping kids both healthy AND happy.
There are, of course, many great health benefits for both adults and little ones who eat a whole foods diet that’s free of sugar and processed foods. But we were amazed at how rarely our kids were getting sick once we shifted our eating habits. No more colds or runny noses. Their immune system becomes very strong and can do what it is designed to do: protect them from outside infections!
Some things to remember… Build healthy habits with your kids but try not to get too strict or obsessive. It’s not about deprivation, it’s about making food healthy and FUN for your little ones.
Because when you make LiveliFood cakes and ice creams, you can eat them for breakfast!