Child decides what to eat

Guest Posting:
7 Ways I Got 5 Kids To Make Better Food Choices

We are constantly bombarded with food choices, and if you’re like me, every day is a struggle to eat healthy and keep the scale from reflecting occasional slip-ups.  For the most part I would say I’m a very healthy eater.  I limit bread & sugar, and I almost never eat fried or fast food.  I snack on nuts and berries, and drink water all day long (after my morning coffee, of course).  But I have to admit that I’m not as careful when it comes to my family meal planning.  I feel guilty loading up on produce for me and then buying chicken nuggets for the kids. I vow to do better! Will you join me?

We are a blended family with five kids ranging from the ages of 18 to 7.  Not only do I battle normal kid pickiness, we have the added struggle of bad habits that are allowed at the other parents’ homes.  When the kids descend on my kitchen for a snack attack it looks like termites have taken over!  So how on earth do I teach healthy eating habits to such a wide variety of personalities and palettes?!  Here are a few of the guidelines I live by.


Creative Commons/˙·٠•●♥ S H I F F ♥

Never keep soda in the house.  I might give in if we’re grabbing something on the go, but I don’t buy it for anyone at home.  I even gave up my own hard core diet soda habit in order to be a better model in this area.

Read more:  Really Mayor Bloomberg? The Slippery, Sugary Slope


Creative Commons/artizone

Buy only whole wheat bread & pasta.  With pasta I started out mixing regular with wheat in order to get the kids used to it, but now I can go all the way wheat without them batting an eye.

Read more:  Our Story Begins: Daddy Style: 5 Easy Dinners You Can Make At Home (VIDEO)


Creative Commons/Cookthinker

Replace ground beef with ground turkey.  Again I sometimes mix the two if the recipe doesn’t fully mask my swap.

Read more:  Ask Rene: My Mother-In-Law’s Meals STINK!


Creative Commons/@bastique

Don’t buy anything with sugar as the first ingredient.  Just don’t keep crappy food in the house.  Snack cakes, toaster pasteries, sugary cereal, candy.  If you buy it, kids will eat it, and you only have yourself to blame.

Read more:  Our Story Begins: Time And Truth.. The Lowdown On Fast Food And Families


Creative Commons/nutrilover

Sneak veggies in wherever possible.  Zucchini is a great one to sneak into sauces.  Spinach can be blended into smoothies (just not too much or you’ll be busted by the color).  Sometimes I’ll add veggies like peas or brocoli to a dish even though I know the kids will pick it out.  I figure they’re bound to accidently get a bite in there somewhere.

Read more:  10 From GEM: Keep Your Cash.. 10 Ways To Cut Grocery Costs


Creative Commons/Andy Ciordia

No food allowed outside the kitchen/dining room.  At least this will cut down on mindless snacking while watching TV, and it forces us to eat together occasionally.  This rule can be broken for popcorn on movie night.

Read more:  Thanksgiving Good Enough Mother Style: Which Of These Is OFF LIMITS At The Table? (POLL)



Don’t expect to be perfect.  I’m not a food expert or a prison guard.  Goldfish crackers and fruit snacks are probably not high on the health food list, but it’s better than french fries & candy.  It’s about making BETTER choices, not PERFECT choices, and keeping the pantry stocked with choices that everybody can live with.

Read more:  Tandem Tantrums: How (And Why) To Let Your Child Run The Food Show


So which of these are you going to use in your house first?  What are you doing now that I might want to try next?  Let me know!

More from GEM:

Celebrating Dad Or Grad? We’ve Got A BuyDig Giveaway For YOU!

True Confession: The Part Of My Body I Hate The Most…. (VIDEO)

Don’t Underestimate Yourself, Mom! 5 Tips To Re-enter The Workforce

andi parker

Andi Parker is a sweet but stubborn wife, and a motivated, multitasking mom of five. Kids include two “originals”, boys ages 13 & 9, and three “steps”, boys ages 18 & 14, and a 7-yr-old girl. Andi works as a TV Producer for a Christian TV Network and freelances as a Traffic Reporter for an NBC affiliate. Her heart is set on sharing victories and life experiences in order to encourage and inspire other blended family working moms… or any gal who’s ever had to juggle a man, a job, kids, friends, chores, etc.  For more experience, strength & hope for blended families, please check out her blog,