The nagging, the begging, the crying, and screaming. Sound familiar? Most parents recognize this scenario—when their kids ask for something and they don’t get it. The object of their desire may be the new iPhone, the cool brand name sneakers, two scoops of ice cream, or pizza for breakfast. As parents, we’ve learned that we have to say “no” more than we say “yes” when it comes to snacking and eating and teaching our kids self-control and good habits (although we’re often laughing on the inside because we’ve all had those pizza-for-breakfast-days ourselves!).
It’s gratifying when we can practice good parenting and let our kids think they’ve “won” the eating battle. Today, we can feed our kids something that is healthy and also tastes good. As a result, they’re happy, they don’t fuss and they think they’ve managed to get what they want—I’m ok with that. With so many options available to us, whether it’s prepared foods at the market or innovative substitutions we can use in the foods we make ourselves, we can give our kids a Trojan horse at meal time or snack time and everyone wins!
Here are some great alternatives you can use that the kids will love:
- Instead of white rice, use quinoa
- Instead of sugar or honey, use Agave (much lower glucose)
- Instead of sour cream, use Greek yogurt (in tacos, soups, and dips)
For prepared foods:
- Avoid foods that add sugar to things that don’t need it, like tomato sauce
- Look for products that use whole grains and use a diversity of grains, like quinoa, amaranth, or spelt (these grains are more nutrient dense than white rice and can reduce the amount of gluten we eat when substituted for flour)
- Look for 100% cheese without fillers like starch or cellulose
These alternatives offer some great win-win food choices that will make both you and the kids happy. Enjoy!