Family health

The challenge of picky eaters

In a household of picky eaters, Maria uses the Healthy Family Challenge meal plans for inspiration.

By Maria Stanley
The challenge of picky eaters

Maria's daughter isn't so excited about eating veggies.

Week one of the Today’s Parent Healthy Family Challenge is underway and we are very excited and somewhat nervous. We received the meal and fitness plans and had a chance to sit down and share them with the kids. They are very excited and eager to try out all the fun fitness ideas outlined for this week.

In the warmer months, we enjoy taking a family walk after dinner to talk about our day and get in some active time. It’s so easy to eat dinner and then slouch on the couch until bedtime. The combination of nicer weather, longer days and the Healthy Family Challenge is the perfect excuse to begin our regular nightly walks this week. I was really pleasantly surprised with the fitness plan — the fun ideas like Balloon Volleyball will appeal to the kids and not seem like exercise at all. The real goal though is to do something active every single day and it doesn’t have to be conventional exercise to count. Personally, since I actually have a fair amount of weight to lose, I plan to try the Couch to 5K program and working out with various DVDs at home as well. My son has shown some interest in joining me in the C25K program, so we’re excited to give it a go and see what happens.

Food wise, the kids are not as enthusiastic. As I said in my first post, they are very picky eaters with a reluctance to try anything new. My son is willing to at least taste new foods before rejecting them, while the little one just takes one look and refuses it altogether. Before we had received the meal plans, we made some of our own rules for the next three months including:

  • No fast food
  • No fried foods
  • No junk food
  • No eating out unless travelling or absolutely necessary
  • Water as our main beverage (1% milk as well for the kids)
  • Whole wheat substitutions whenever possible

I plan to use the meal plans as a guideline and inspiration for our meals with a real heavy focus on an increase in vegetables and fruits. I am predicting many battles of will this week so we’ll see how it goes. I’m really nervous about the food situation, but meals have always been really stressful at our house.

I’m going to be stricter with myself when it comes to my diet. I have committed to myself that I will not be eating any sugar or grains, and cutting out all caffeine (goodbye Diet Coke and Starbucks). My focus will be on proteins and tons of salads and veggies — I’m hoping this will help me with my insomnia and stomach issues and, of course, weight loss. I know it may sound extreme, but I’ve done it before and I felt amazing. Why did I stop? I have no idea.

Good luck with week one!

This article was originally published on Mar 07, 2013

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