Getting Kids to Eat Healthy … and a $200 Giveaway!

Friday December 10, 2010

*** NEW UPDATE:  unfortunately, Mary M did not respond in time.  The new winner is Cathy W (#158)!   Be sure to respond to the email sent by BlogHer to claim your prize! ****

**** UPDATE:   Congratulations to Mary M (#10)! BlogHer should be emailing you for the details.  ***

This is a sponsored post from Chef Boyardee and BlogHer.

Do your kids like to eat healthy foods?

Mine do!

Sometimes … or not.  It depends on what it is, how it’s being offered and what their attitude happens to be at the moment.

Chef Boyardee created a site called Club Mum as a resource for moms to share parenting advice on topics like healthy eating.  As part of their promotion, they asked bloggers like me to share healthy eating tips and we get to give away a $200 VISA gift card!

So… while I am far from perfect — especially in the realm of eating healthy —  here are a few of my tips for getting kids to eat healthier:

1.  Don’t bring the junk into the house.

I am definitely not a food nazi – I like my sweets and so do the kids.  But there are plenty of “snack foods” I will never buy.  Doritos, Cheetos, and anything else neon colored tops the list.

We do eat processed foods, but I try to steer towards more benign choices.  I tend towards items like pretzels, tortilla chips and goldfish.   And whenever possible, I buy the healthier option — read the labels and get to know what’s in your food!   Buy your applesauce unsweetened,  get the regular yogurt (or plain if you’re really good) instead of the super sweetened, crazy colored crap they market to kids.

2.  Don’t completely deny them of all junk.

While I don’t think junk should be a daily habit, I’m not going to turn it into a forbidden fruit temptation either.   My kids gorged themselves on candy on Halloween, just like the rest of America’s children (and their parents!).   And with Christmas coming, there will be plenty of baking and tasting and delighting in all that is sweet and unhealthy.

But, when it’s time to pack the lunch, it will be full of food that is good and good for them.

3.  Figure out what good stuff they like and make it available.

My kids love carbs (who doesn’t?)  but they need more than that for a healthy diet.  I try and keep the fridge stocked with fruits they will eat and try to remember to offer it.   Apples and pears go over well with some of my kids.  Others love bananas and cantaloupe.   Protein is also a smart choice to have on hand — I will offer the kids a slice of deli turkey or a cheese stick if they are hungry.  Try to make sure you have good stuff to offer so you don’t just fall back on empty carbs.

Basically, figure out what healthy stuff your kids like and make sure to have it on hand when the grumpy hungries hit.

4.  Keep offering the good stuff.

A lot of stuff kids will refuse initially, but I have been surprised at what my kids have come around on.  I can’t keep up with who likes what any more but I just keeping offering it and eventually, some of it sticks.

5.  Give them choices and let them decide.

When my kids come home from school hungry, begging for a treat, I will usually let them have a small little something sweet.   But when they return and ask, “What else can I have?”  I turn it around them.   “What do YOU think would be a good choice?”   I let them know what’s available and let them decide.

For school lunches, they bring most days, but can buy once a week on our dime.   However, if they want to buy ice cream (an additional cost) they must pay for it with their own money.   So they have to decide if it’s worth it.

When we eat out at Fuddruckers, the kids meal comes with a cookie.  After the meal, the kids used to beg for quarters to play in the arcade.  My hubs came up with a great idea — he told them they could either have 50 cents, or their cookie — they have to choose which they value more.

These are just a few ways of helping the kids think about food what is important to them.

So those are my ideas, what are your healthy eating tips?

For a chance to win a $200 VISA gift card, leave a comment below, sharing your tips for helping kids eat healthy.

Giveaway Rules:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

a)      Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post. (see above).
b)      Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post.
c)       Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post.
d)      Visit the official rules for additional forms of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents aged 18 and older.

Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail.

You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.  Visit the exclusive offers page for more tips and more chances to win!

Sweepstakes ends 5 PM PST, December 23, 2010.

For great tips from moms just like us, sharing experiences, ideas and advice on how to get kids to eat better, visit Club Mum. Club Mum is the perfect resource for moms to learn helpful hints on a variety of topics, which can be applied to their own family. Club Mum is also on Facebook with daily tips, recipes, articles, questions and a terrific and active community!

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174 Responses to Getting Kids to Eat Healthy … and a $200 Giveaway!

  1. 151
    Tabathia B says:

    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

    *mandatory comment on 12/13

  2. 152
    Sarah L says:

    We drink a lot of water. There are no sodas in our house, but every once in a while we’ll have one.
    Thanks for the contest.

  3. 153
  4. 154
    Jill H says:

    Make it fun and try to give them healthy choices that they like and if that doesn’t work, put cheese on it and they’ll eat it. 😀

  5. 155
    Jill H says:



  6. 156
    Betty C says:

    I was very lucky in that my children loved fruits and veggies. They could wipe out a 10 pound bag of oranges in the blink of an eye. We always kept plenty of fresh fruit and veggies available for snacks and shopped at the farmer’s market where they could pick out what they wanted.

  7. 157
    Cathy W says:

    Cooked veggies, tossed in the food processor, are easily added to casseroles, burgers, chili, other dishes.
    cjwallace43 at gmail dot com

  8. 158
  9. 159
    Bonnie P says:

    I use the one bite of food for every year old the child is 3years old=3 bites of food and then they can be done

  10. 160
    B Smith says:

    I have been blessed with non-picky eaters! Thankfully so! but my kids LOVE smoothies!

  11. 161
    angie says:

    While not a parent, I am a picky eater and have tricks my mom used on me and my dad! LOL Knowing exactly what veggies I would eat, she would make sure they were always in my meals thru the day. She would also give me lots of fruit to make up for the fact that I didn’t like many veggies.

  12. 162
  13. 163
    scott says:

    My parents always taught me manners and to respect their directions. I was made to finish what was on my plate (not large portions or anything like that) and to try everything at least once. They did not force me to eat things I hated, but they would not allow me to just turn up my nose and not even try things. I also had to try 1 thing a month that I thought I hated again, to see if my tastes had changed. I do this to this day and have widened my palate considerably over the years.

  14. 164
  15. 165
    VickieB says:

    I was always lucky my son was never a picky eater so I never had to come up with any strategies. But I have seen where if the parents are picky or refuse to try things, the kids follow suit.
    I guess you could make the “fun” by forming into shapes or making faces on them or letting them help in the prep

  16. 166
    Brandy Byrne says:

    My kids have always like to eat raw fruits and veggies from those huge trays. A little dip will go a long way but they will also eat them without it. I do buy things like Little Debbie snacks, etc. but if put on the table next to a fruit/veggie platter they will attack the platter. I feel so lucky in that way! No struggles here, of course in a family of 7 you better eat what you while it’s there! LOL!

  17. 167
    Brandy Byrne says:



  18. 168
    Joanne Schultz says:

    I think keeping meals simple makes it easier for kids to be willing to try new stuff. Rather than put sauces on food, serve them separately- if the kids don’t like the sauce and it’s served to them, they make hate the food it’s served with.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  19. 169
    Debra F says:

    My kid eat pretty healthy most of the time, but here’s my quickest, easiest and healthiest meal that my kids ask for at least once a week. I get 1 pound packages of ground turkey that’s like 93% fat free. I usually brown it up ahead of time and pop the 1 pound packages in ziplocs into the freezer. When I need a quick meal, I pop the frozen ground meat with some homemade tomato sauce from all the tomatoes I grew in the summer to make a nice meat sauce. Serve it over whole wheat pasta (they don’t know the difference!). Hearty, filling and comforting.

  20. 170
    barbara wright says:

    I leave fruit and other healthy foods on the counter. The junky foods are up in the cabinets. Given a choice between taking the easy to reach stuff and the harder to reach stuff, they eat fruit – but know that the other stuff is there if they really want it, so they don’t end up getting cravings for it – they know it’s their choice to be lazy 🙂

  21. 171
  22. 172
    Margie says:

    Drinking a lot of water and keeping vitamins in your system are good health tips we keep in mind.

  23. 173
    Lee says:

    Cut up vegetables,raw or cooked, into smaller peices. That makes them more approachable, easier to digest and easier to hide. If you grate veggies, they really hide!

  24. 174
    Eugenie says:

    Mix vegetables into a meat dish or sauce so they’re not a separate option. cook well.

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