I know that one of the major struggles of being a parent is getting kids to try new foods and actually eat a balanced diet. I can’t even tell you how many times my 4 year old has asked for cookies for dinner, and refused to eat said dinner, because it was not cookies.
I promise that it is actually a lot more frustrating than it sounds. It’s a struggle between knowing that your child needs to eat something, but won’t eat what you’re serving them. Pulling my hair out would be preferable to the arguments that ensue. There is no reasoning with a 4 year old.
Before I completely threw in the towel and let my kid eat junk food for dinner, I did some research on parenting hacks to get kids to eat a healthier, more balanced diet. The answer was actually so simple that I was annoyed I hadn’t thought of it. The answer was smoothies, soups, and homemade ice creams and/or sorbets. It seemed like a no-brainer.
I could manage to make all of these things with my Cuisinart food processor, since they would all need to be puréed. I got it out, only to find that my work bowl had a nice sized crack in it. After some searching I found KitchenWorksInc, where they sell legitimate Cuisinart-dfp-14 parts. I ordered my new work bowl, along with some extra blades and a spatula to be sure I was getting everything out of my work bowl.
I started off with the smoothies. This was a great way to disguise green veggies with berries and other fruits. My son really enjoyed them, especially when they were mixed in with some chocolate or peanut butter- or both!
I was really surprised at how many healthy ice cream and sorbet recipes I was able to find. It was another great way to disguise some veggies as well. It was a little bit more difficult depending on the flavors, but it was really a great source for fruits.
I also started with soups, and just to change it up, I could add some rice or pasta to the puréed soup, so my son didn’t discover that I was serving him all mushy meals, which might be a deal breaker for him. 4 year olds are really fickle.
It really worked!! What’s even better is that I can of course make these all up and freeze them so I always have them on hand. Once in a while I can get my son to eat certain things with no issue, but typically I have to go this new route. And there are days where he literally eats soup for breakfast and has a smoothie for dinner. At this point, whatever it takes to get those nutrients in is what we do.
I’m really thankful that I made this discovery and that my Cuisinart food processor makes it so much easier than having to do everything by hand. I know I won’t have to trick my son forever, but in the meantime, I’m glad that he’s getting the nutrients that he needs to grow, and enjoying it to boot!