Starting from Scratch: A Mother’s Quest for Healthy Food with Picky Eaters

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It became exhausting having to add steps just to beef up the nutrition of everyday kid-friendly dishes. I decided it was time for a new approach. This time, I would encourage my son to be more involved in the kitchen and play a role in preparing some of his snacks and dishes. We started with simple recipes like fruit salads, muffins and soups. Eventually, we graduated to making stir-fry and one-pot pasta dishes.

Instead of hiding the fruits and vegetables, I started to talk about them and help familiarize him with the wide variety of options. We started taking more trips to the grocery store and farmer’s market together, where I challenged him to identify all the fruits and vegetables we saw by name. What I found was that my son was actually eating (and enjoying) more fruits and vegetables. Now, I get him to help pick out the ingredients we use in those yummy smoothies, like strawberries, blueberries, bananas, even mangos and kiwis. Hooray!

As I prepare for my second baby, I’m not going to forget the choices I made with my first child. I don’t want to be so sneaky early on when it comes to her diet. Instead, I am going to strive to be more transparent with her nutrition and get her more involved in the kitchen at an early age. After all, there are so many wonderful lessons to experience when cooking with your child, not to mention the memories you create. There’s no way I’m going to hide those glorious fruits and vegetables any more. And, my hope is that maybe, just maybe, big brother will help to set a healthy example, too.

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Eluka Moore is one of the creators and authors of the award-winning Kitchen Club Kids® recipe-adventure series for kids. The series is designed to introduce learning fundamentals, the concept of recipe building and promote healthy eating habits at a young age. To learn more, visit the Kitchen Club Kids website

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