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NOCGIRL Posts: 101
3/13/19 3:30 P

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I have stopped buying all junk and making unhealthy dinners. My kids eat what I eat or they make their own food.

They eat lots of baked chicken, they love eggs, wheat toast, asparagus and other green veggies, avocado.

eggs seem to be the go to food good for any meal.

ENGINEERMOM's Photo ENGINEERMOM Posts: 1,067
3/12/19 5:28 P

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OP here, reporting back!

We've switched completely to white whole wheat flour in all our baked goods (pizza, cornbread, muffins, zucchini chocolate cake, etc.), and switched to stone-ground whole-grain cornmeal for where I use that.

We've also switched to having dessert only two days a week - Sundaes on Sunday, and then a dessert one of my kids picks out and prepares with me on Tuesdays. This has varied from fresh fruit with homemade whipped cream to chocolate zucchini cake to blondies and brownies (of which I just don't eat much). I've also been very open about needing to take a 15-minute walk after eating anything sugary, and both kids have loved those after-dinner walks!

My son occasionally grumbles about the lack of bagels, but he's accepted the homemade whole wheat English muffin bread my husband makes as a reasonable substitute. He's also started adding eggs to his breakfast more often, rather than just eating two bagels if he's extra hungry!

My kids still prefer white flour in the weekly waffles on Saturday morning, but since it's just them and my husband (I'm always up and out the door early to work out before grocery shopping), we decided it's fine once a week. If I do happen to be home, I make whole wheat oatmeal waffles because I can eat those, and I like them!

Take life one day at a time - enjoy today before you worry about tomorrow.


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SARAH8711 SparkPoints: (183)
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3/8/19 7:57 A

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Some awesome advice here!

ARTSPARK's Photo ARTSPARK Posts: 424
2/8/19 10:12 A

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This is a topic that will require you to go full bore on. Kids need to make good decisions, not ape what parents eat. Educate them and it follows. Post a proportion plate and a food pyramid on the wall. Go to a farm or farmers market. Teach them how to choose foods and read labels. Make something healthy, together! Show them the consequences of not eating healthy.

Finally, assign one meal a week to cook for the family.



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VER1231's Photo VER1231 SparkPoints: (114)
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1/27/19 10:55 A

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Thanks for the ideas here as it is always good to hear about alternative options.

Want to know how a 40 years old mom of two daughters is staying fit and boosting her strength? Just visit bit.ly/2z6BrK6 to see how she is doing it and getting paid for it as well.
SPUNOUTMOM's Photo SPUNOUTMOM Posts: 1,548
1/25/19 8:39 P

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My kids grew up with whole grain foods. It was my husband that was the fussy one that didn't want to eat the white food. He would even buy his own white bread. Now he won't eat any white stuff. It was first that it wasn't in the house. Then it was because he did want to set a good example to our kids, he just really didn't like some of the whole wheat products. We tried other whole grain ones and we did find some he liked better. The pasta was ok because I hid it under lots of sauce and veggies. So he didn't know that the pasta was whole grain. I love some of the tips here. I have friends and clients that have the same issue and will be sure to share. Thank you for asking and for sharing.



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MICHELLEXXXX SparkPoints: (12,944)
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1/25/19 8:04 P

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3. We set up new rules- everything on the plate must be eaten (remember very small portions, like 1 teaspoon of "undesirable" food) and negative comments and faces about the food are prohibited. He had to come up with something he liked about it, "I like the crunchiness of the carrot" or "I like the spice of the hot sauce" even if he disliked everything else about it.

- Message Posted by: EXNOLA - 1/25/2019

I see a lot of merit in this method. I like the way you think EXNOLA. :)

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever exercises faith in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16


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EXNOLA Posts: 326
1/25/19 11:19 A

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I have a picky eater as well (he's now 10) and I did manage to change the way he eats. He has a larger variety of what he likes and can tolerate eating what he doesn't. He hasn't thrown up at the table in more than a year and a half! (he used to gag and vomit when he encountered textures and flavors he couldn't handle, like vinegar or pasty foods like beans or mashed potatoes). We had been trying everything to get his to eat for years.
1. I read a book called French Kids Eat Everything. Not everything is applicable in the book, but it helped me shift perspective on the topic.
2. I started small. He would get very small portions of everything we were eating and I stopped catering to his whims on food. I did NOT start out with gag inducing foods, those came in at the very end of the process.
3. We set up new rules- everything on the plate must be eaten (remember very small portions, like 1 teaspoon of "undesirable" food) and negative comments and faces about the food are prohibited. He had to come up with something he liked about it, "I like the crunchiness of the carrot" or "I like the spice of the hot sauce" even if he disliked everything else about it.
4. Talk about what you are doing and why. If you are switching to whole grains from white, tell them why. Try various brands. I like Bay's multi grain English muffins, but hate Thomas's, Aunt Annie's, and Trader Joe's- those are all too sweet.
Try bakery bread instead of bread from the bread isle.
Mix white and whole grain pastas until whole grain tastes familiar. (I love Trader Joe's whole wheat pasta, don't like some others).
Hope this helps!

NIRERIN Posts: 14,534
1/24/19 7:57 P

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Have you asked your son what he might want to try? I've been cooking since before I was tall enough to see over the counter when I was standing on a chair and using knives for just as long. It sounds really dangerous when I put it that way, but I made it to adulthood with all my fingers and toes intact and no burns. So if your son is already somewhat responsible for himself, ask him what he might like to try or make or rotate in.

There is also a Sparker around here who makes her own pizza. Loads the crust and sauce with fiber and vegetables and maybe tops with them as well. She freezes in individual portions and her username is completely escaping me at the moment. Is it Slimmerkiwi? Perhaps doing some batch cooking like that with your son could get a comparably easy option that's a little better and I feel like pizza for breakfast might be an easy sell.

-google first. ask questions later.

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1/24/19 7:50 P

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emoticon

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever exercises faith in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16


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ENGINEERMOM's Photo ENGINEERMOM Posts: 1,067
1/24/19 11:32 A

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Thanks, everyone, for all the suggestions!

I'm a very experienced baker and have been making bread since I was about 4 years old, so I'm used to modifying recipes. I actually prefer homemade bread made with white whole wheat flour vs. store-bought bread because I don't like sweet bread, and companies always seem to want to dump sugar into whole-grain breads.

Part of my issue right now is that our lives have just gotten busier as the kids have gotten older, I moved from SAHM to part-time work, to full-time work 5 minutes from home, and now to a full-time position 20-25 minutes from our house. Since I started full-time work, I have not been the one to do the morning routine - I'm out the door by 5:15 most mornings to go to the gym before getting to work by 7. My husband gets the kids up, dressed, fed, and out the door, and because my daughter is difficult to get moving in the mornings, my son makes his own breakfast.

I'm trying to make strategic decisions about where to spend my time/energy, and making our weekly bread/bagels, etc., is just feeling like something I can't commit to regularly, so I've been trying to find store-bought alternatives that still fulfill nutritional requirements, or can at least be back-ups on weeks I can't do the baking.

I did learn something new this week - my daughter likes stir-fry, and has requested I make it again, and in a large enough batch for her to have leftovers. So maybe I just need to stop worrying, cook what I want and what works for me, and trust my son will figure it all out eventually.

Take life one day at a time - enjoy today before you worry about tomorrow.


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MICHELLEXXXX SparkPoints: (12,944)
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1/24/19 12:46 A

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Children are adaptable. After an initial "tantrum" or some form of disapproval, he will eat what is provided and come to enjoy it.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever exercises faith in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16


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LADYSTARWIND's Photo LADYSTARWIND Posts: 5,604
1/23/19 11:23 P

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Have you tried getting him to select and cook some homemade alternative breads from recipe books? The library might have some good ones... themed like for Cowboys/ Camping/ Farmers/ …. and then get him to buy the supplies, etc. Some kids will get hooked...others, nah!! But might be worth a try...! If nothing else...you will be planting seeds... my grown son now calls occasionally for recipes since I used to make a lot of breads, etc when he grew up. who wudda thunk?!
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patti

Patti
"The only thing we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us."
Gandalf: Lord of the Rings


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NIRERIN Posts: 14,534
1/23/19 9:33 P

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Is there anything that he likes more than bagels and white bread that is also healthy? Would it be possible to swap that in? Because that sounds like the simplest, if most difficult to find, solution.

I would also try by cutting out the white bread at one meal to start and gradually working up as you find other options that are enjoyed.



-google first. ask questions later.

URBANREDNEK Posts: 7,037
1/23/19 7:57 P

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No kids here, but I did get to watch my Sis-in-Law totally makeover how their family eats --- starting when her girls were about the same ages as your kids.

From what we saw and talked about, she just gradually started adding in different options, until she found healthier ones that the kids liked more than the "usual" --- and then the "usual" changed because that was what they wanted!

For instance, instead of having a breakfast including white bagels, she would bake a loaf of wholegrain oat / cornmeal / soft white wheat --- which is naturally sweet and soft, and doesn't carry the "whole wheat" stigma. She'd alter the rest of the breakfast to suit --- making open-faced grilled sandwiches with sliced turkey and eggs and brie with some baked fruit, for instance --- so that the overall breakfast was different, and the bread chosen "to suit the meal" instead of "to replace the bagel". On another day she'd have wholegrain rye bread, chosen to go with cream cheese and ham or smoked fish. For weekend French Toast, she'd make a wholegrain bread of rye / wheat using bananas instead of water and loaded with cranberries and chopped dried fruit. While they did have access to some great local bakeries, she did most of her dough in a bread machine --- then baked as loaves or rolls. It wasn't too long before the girls started choosing their breads to suit the meals --- with the oat / cornmeal bread being a huge favourite, followed by rye.

They gradually moved away from pasta in the same way --- not by "replacing" pasta, but by having entire meals that were totally different. She started by adding in more Asian and Middle Eastern and African style dishes - the type that are suited to being served with cooked whole grains instead of noodles. They started buying different types of grains, cooking up a plain batch, and then experimenting together on what types of vegetables and sauces would best suit. These types of meals really reinforced the idea that the grains / starches were very much the "side dish" and not the "main", so their occasional pasta meals became vegetable and sauce meals, with a side of pasta. They also did some experimenting with different noodles, and found that they really like freshly-made noodles using wholemeal durum flour --- that they were able to pick up at a local Italian market.

As for pizza --- well, that one became a compromise. Most of the time, they are all happy to do individual pizzas on homemade wholegrain pitas - done with a mix of spelt or durum and soft white wheat flours (so no strong or bitter "whole wheat" flavour). When they are all in the mood for a "real" pizza --- well, it's a homemade thick crust done with white flour and sourdough. It really has become a rare request for that, though, and it is more often my brother asking for it and not the girls!

Hopefully these ideas might give you some inspiration on the next changes that you want to introduce at home. Keep having fun with it!

Sir Terry Pratchett: "Science is not about building a body of known 'facts'. It is a method for asking awkward questions and subjecting them to a reality-check, thus avoiding the human tendency to believe whatever makes us feel good."

"The Inuit Paradox" ( discovermagazine.com/2004/oct/inuit-
paradox
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ENGINEERMOM's Photo ENGINEERMOM Posts: 1,067
1/23/19 2:24 P

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Thanks for some suggestions! I'm not looking to go the "scare" route - we follow Ellyn Satter's Division of Responsibility.

I'm just dreading my son's push-back, I think, and changing some "staples" like his white flour bagels, and white flour (homemade) pizza crust - while I like whole wheat pizza crust, it's definitely different than white flour, and hasn't been received with particular excitement in the past.

Take life one day at a time - enjoy today before you worry about tomorrow.


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LE_SIGH's Photo LE_SIGH Posts: 928
1/23/19 1:33 P

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There are brands that offer a "white whole-wheat" which might be a good way to start on the bread without a discernible difference ;) I have a picky eater too, but she's stopped asking me what things are without trying them first. I call her my super taster... she's the best in the family at identifying individual spices and flavors in meals, and having that as her "specialty" makes her more amenable to trying new things.

Mostly though, if you don't buy it then it's not around. I'm mean like that. My kids help pick the meals for the week, and they help with prep and cooking as well. Quinoa was super weird at first, and yes, it looks like boogers. However when you saute some onion first, then add the quinoa and cook it all in chicken or veggie broth, it's delicious, and has way more nutritional bang for the buck than pasta. We incorporate a lot of other cuisines too... I am a fan of Indian food so meatless Monday is typically some kind of vegetarian masala. On Italian nights we've done our own pizzas on whole wheat or cauliflower crust. Taco Tuesday usually becomes taco salad with [turkey] meat heavily balanced by beans and sour cream swapped for plain greek yogurt. I try new recipes constantly because I'm lazy and end up googling for specific ingredients to throw together, but everyone votes whether it's a make-again or not.

There don't have to be any bad foods to make healthy choices, though if you wanted to go the scare route you could watch Fast Food Nation or Super Size Me!

ENGINEERMOM's Photo ENGINEERMOM Posts: 1,067
1/23/19 1:00 P

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Has anyone else worked to change the whole family's diet away from white bread/pasta towards things like whole-grain bread products, alternatives to pasta, etc.?

Any tips or brand recommendations for substitutions?

I eat pretty well (high fiber, staying away from too much sugar, no "white" foods), and while I know my husband and daughter (7) would be completely on board with moving away from things like white flour bagels for breakfast, my son (10) is a rather picky eater, and I'm dreading having to tell him I won't buy white bread any more.

I don't want to create "bad" foods, but given our family's history of diabetes on both sides, this is a change that needs to happen.

Take life one day at a time - enjoy today before you worry about tomorrow.


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