If you read my post in March Operation: These kids will eat what I make for dinner if it kills me, you will remember that I came up with a plan to get my kids to stop eating so much junk. My definition of junk might be different than yours, but I was still not happy about their eating habits. It seemed to consist of mostly carbs and a chicken nugget from time to time.
Here was the plan.
1. No bread, tortilla chips, cereal, frozen waffles, crackers, granola bars, pretzels, pita chips, etc.
2. A set breakfast for each weekday: Scrambled eggs & berries, Smoothies, Oatmeal and berries Fried egg sandwich (one of the only bread exceptions), Yogurt & berries
3. The big boys will be allowed to buy their lunch at school every day even though I worried that this could undermine all the healthy eating they do at home.
4. They will eat what I make for dinner and if they choose not to, breakfast is in the morning. If they choose not to eat their dinner they will be excused to go get ready for bed.
Here’s how it went.
- We still don’t buy frozen waffles, granola bars, pretzels or pita chips, but since their eating improved we added back bread, cereal and the occasional box crackers.
- Since some boys don’t like yogurt and others don’t like eggs we started off letting them each choose from the five different breakfasts we listed. We’ve started allowing them to have toast or cereal for breakfast sometimes, but they still eat from the breakfast list regularly.
- The boys bought their lunch every day for a couple of months and then went back to a packed lunch for summer camp. Since school started again we have gone to letting them buy their lunch once a week. The other four days they bring their lunch and it only has water, a sandwich and a piece of fresh fruit in it.
- They are eating what I make for dinner! They still aren’t huge vegetable fans, but we have gotten to where all three boys will eat a plain lettuce salad with vinaigrette dressing every night at dinner so for that right there I am giving myself a gold medal. We had a couple times where someone decided they would rather go to bed than to eat what I made for dinner, but they quickly learned that I meant business and we didn’t have many problems after that.
They don’t like everything I make, but I feel like we’ve made huge progress with their eating so I consider the operation a success. As some of my readers mentioned in previous comments, I’m seeing with my oldest that he seems to be more and more interested in trying new foods. Maybe when they are teenagers they will just eat whatever I put in front of them at that point and all this worry will be for nothing. It wouldn’t be the first time that happened, but it makes me feel better to try.