Post by Jessica R.

There is much talk these days about fighting obesity and teaching our children about “real food” so that they learn to eat well. I’m all over doing just that, but it’s not always easy.

My daughters love fruits and vegetables, so I’m lucky, but like many children they hate to taste new things. My oldest rejects anything remotely new with a quick disgusted grimace, pushing it out of her sight as quickly as possible. The little one can at times be cajoled into at least putting the new item to her lips, but rarely does it ever pass into her mouth.

I don’t stop trying, but it is frustrating to have to throw out perfectly good food because my babes won’t relent and eat it.

I’ve tried getting them involved in the cooking process with limited results. I’ve tried getting them involved in the grocery shopping, with equally limited results. I’d try the popular “hiding healthy food in familiar food” technique, but my goal is to teach them to eat well, not trick them into doing it.

I’ll admit that recently I’ve fallen into a bit of a safe rut just for the sake of not having a fight on my hands every evening. But this morning I came across something that has given me new hope! The snack tray idea.

Tracy Porter Snack Tray Idea

You can use muffin tins like these to prepare balanced meals for your kids. Use the cups to present a variation of veggies and proteins. One cup can be for dip, another for carrots, broccoli, or whatever other vegetable you want to try. Mix it up and present old favorites next to new offerings. The fun serving tray might be just what it takes to get your child to try something new, and if he doesn’t, that’s ok, you’ve only wasted a tiny portion of the new food, enabling you to serve up a whole new portion of it the next day! The tray above has more sweet stuff than I’d offer up for a dinner or a lunch, but this technique is perfect for sneaking healthy options into an afternoon snack or into a playdate tray.

The options are truly endless!

The best part of this technique is that it allows you all to see exactly how bright and fun a truly balanced meal can be. The more colors a meal has, the healthier it is, and this allows all of those colors to shine. It’s a lesson and a party all in one.

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Category: Mom Talk
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2 Responses

  1. Rox says:

    My jaw dropped when I saw that picture: I’ve used muffin trays for beading projects, other kids’ crafts, in soapmaking, yet I’ve never thought of using them like that! I can see setting up healthy snacks for playdates that way, or even a “sundae bar” with lots of toppings — just love it! Thanks for sharing a great idea!

  2. I love this idea! What a simple way to get your kids to try something new. You could have them pick one of each, something new and something familiar. Thanks so much for sharing!

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