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This blog started as a way for me to share my recipes + culinary adventures, tips for vibrant health + happiness, thoughts on the latest developments in nutritional medicine + the low down on the Sydney wholefoods scene and beyond...

How to get kids to eat nourishing food- don't give them a choice!!


I’m constantly asked by mothers of “fussy” or “picky” eaters how to get their children to eat a broader range of foods. My advice-  offer up the food you want them to eat over and over again and they will eventually eat it, enjoy it and love it! I don't subscribe to the view "it's better to give them something else even if it’s less nourishing (eg bread, pasta, crackers, muffins, sweets etc) than see them eat nothing at all".  This is teaching them that if they don't eat what's served their parents will cave and give them something else. My second child Michaela didn’t start out with the hearty appetite of broad-spectrum wholefoods she has today. It took years (literally) of offering her eggs morning after morning before she eventually got the idea that eggs for breakfast are not negotiable and in fact they are not only nutritious but bloody delicious. Now she asks for them.  Their choice is simply eat what’s offered or don’t eat at all. Mummy’s not making different meals for different people. We all eat the same thing at each meal. And if you don’t want to eat it, that’s fine but there’s nothing else – and certainly no dessert. When faced with this choice, a bacon and egg brekky starts looking mighty fine when compared with starvation. In most cases I have found from my friends/clients that kids relish the migration to a nutrient-dense diet because their bodies are thirsty for the nutrients that a wholefoods diet offers and because the food is so mouth-wateringly palatable (….think butter, bacon, eggs, lamb chops, spare ribs, meat and veggie casseroles, rich broths, cream, coconut oil, creamy egg yolks, cavier, wild fish, well ripened fruit, sea salt etc)…this is the food that we are biologically designed to eat. Our genes literally expect the nutrients from this food so our taste buds are alive to accepting it. The problem in my house…..when to stop the kids from overeating???

Another avenue that often works is to get the kids involved in the cooking process. There is something rewarding about eating the fruits of ones labour. Make them feel proud that they have contributed to the meal.  I have a saying in my kitchen "whoever helps with the meal gets first serve".