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What To Do If Your Child Gets Tired of Their Healthy Meals

Meal times can be especially challenging when children willingly eat something one week, but not the next. The CBS-TV anchors at KMFB in San Diego asked Nutritionist Kaitlin Cushman for advice about this and other common family meal time situations. 


 

What if your child suddenly refuses to eat certain foods? 

When children go through a picky eating stage, Cushman suggested, “Sometimes making small food swaps will keep everyone happier and add a little more nutrition to their meals.” Her tips included: adding bananas and Healthy Heights protein powder into waffle or pancake batter; and exchanging mayo on a turkey sandwich with hummus or smashed avocado. 


What if swapping one food for another isn’t a practical option? 

“Start with the foods you know they like and pair them with new things to slowly integrate foods they don’t normally eat,” responded Cushman. “For example, if they are really into mac and cheese, add a little grilled chicken or a new vegetable.” 


What if kids get tired of eating something that’s healthy? 

When kids will only eat a limited variety of foods, you don’t want them to get bored with the healthy options. Keep things interesting by involving them in the menu planning and meal prep process. “Take them to the grocery store with you. Have them help you pick out new meals. Get them excited by letting them help you in the kitchen. If they made a meal with you, they’ll be more interested in eating it.” 


Cushman emphasized the importance of starting kids in the kitchen when they are young. “When they grow older and start making their own decisions, you want to empower them to be able to make their own meals, and to make good food choices.”


How can busy families eat healthy on the go? 

“I like to do a smoothie station,” said Cushman. She suggested adding peanut butter, Greek yogurt and low-sugar, high-protein Healthy Heights protein powder made for kids. She explained that smoothies are quick to make and will satisfy children’s appetites. “They also make great snacks so kids aren’t grazing on junk food later in the day.” 


What is a simple way to compensate for diets that lack variety? 

“When kids are little, you don’t want to risk having them miss out on important nutrients,” advised Cushman. While sometimes that means sneaking little bits of nutrition into their food, she said, “Sometimes you need a more powerful tool in your back pocket.” 


Developed by pediatricians at Schneider Children’s Medical Center in Israel, Healthy Heights nutritional shake mixes help fill children’s nutritional gaps. Available in kid-friendly chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and plain flavors, these versatile powders can be served as shakes and used in an infinite number of creative recipes. See the recipe section of our blog to get started.