One of the questions I get the most by email and in the forum, is how to help kids make a switch to healthier eating in a world where unhealthy options are marketed to them and pushed on them constantly.
Certainly, it seems that many take the position that kids “just won’t eat” the healthy foods or vegetables, so they just pacify them with junk food until the kids get old enough to somehow make good food choices themselves. Unfortunately, this theory wouldn’t work with discipline or education, and it doesn’t work well with nutrition either.
That being said, it often is much easier said than done to encourage kids to eat healthier food, and it is even more difficult to get them excited about eating healthier.
This is one of the many reasons I’m excited about “Eat Like a Dinosaur” – the great new book by the Paleo Parents, Stacy and Matt.
Eat Like a Dinosaur…
I was excited about this book before I even got a chance to read it because (a) Stacy and Matt are an awesome, inspiring couple who have lost over 200 pounds combined and who have three absolutely precious boys who have also seen health changes by improving their nutrition and (b) their website, PaleoParents.com is a fountain of great information and delicious recipes.
I also feel like Stacy and I would be great friends, as she is incredibly sweet and also a natural birthing, natural living, breastfeeding mama!
I loved Eat Like a Dinosaur and so did my kids! I loved how they have a chapter geared toward the kids, and a chapter to help parents make the adjustment with the kids!
And, oh… the recipes!
As a recipe junkie myself, I was excited to see all the great recipe ideas Matt and Stacy included! They have some great and creative recipe ideas… my kids were literally looking through the book saying “Can we make this one” … “Oh, and this one!”… “and this one!”
Each recipe also included specific ideas and suggestions for getting kids involved in preparation, which is one of the best tactics I’ve found for getting kids excited about eating healthier foods. Each recipe has a quick reference for any common allergens it includes (nuts, shellfish,etc) , along with a chart of all the recipes and their possible allergen ingredients in the back.
All of the recipes were deliciously grain and dairy free and were ones that I would (and will!) cook for my own family.
So far, we’ve loved the 50/50 bacon burgers (yes, bacon mixed into the burgers!!) and the Honey-Barbecue Ground Beef Jerky!
Yesterday, my kids were relentlessly asking for the chocolate milkshakes that are in the “Special Treats” Section of Eat Like a Dinosaur, and since there weren’t any objectionable ingredients and the weather was great for eating them outside, we decided to try them.
This milkshake is basically a mixture of coconut milk, ice, banana, avocado, cocoa powder and dates for sweetness. No sugar, no dairy, no questionable ingredients!
My oldest was a little skeptical at first since he helped put the ingredients in and knew that the recipe included avocado, but after his siblings quickly threatened to drink his milkshake, he got over his new-found disdain for avocados (he eats them in food all the time without knowing it!) and decided to try it.
He loved it and told me that while he still doesn’t like avocado (he does) that he does like them in smoothies! The texture was amazingly creamy and just sweet enough without being overly sweet. I loved that the kids were getting all the healthy fats and they just loved the milkshake!
I’d definitely recommend “Eat Like A Dinosaur!” All the recipes we’ve tried have been excellent, and my quality control department definitely approves
It’s available for pre-order on Amazon right now for almost half off the regular price and will ship in just a couple of weeks!
If you’ve been struggling to help your kids get excited about real foods, I’d suggest enlisting Matt and Stacy’s help through “Eat Like a Dinosaur.” Their personalities shine through, even in the recipes, and reading through the book and seeing the new recipes helped my kids (who have to eat vegetables all the time) get excited about eating them again!
(Please excuse my messy kitchen in the pictures, and ignore the fact that my two year old is shirtless… in March. I’ve basically come to the realization that when it comes to eating, I’d be better off just taking his clothes out of his drawer, rubbing food on them and sticking them straight in the washing machine… at least it would save time!)