CommunityBrowse groupsBlogEtiquetteInvite Your friendsSuccess Stories


Family dinner suggestions?

I'm eating a lot healthier but my kids still want mac and cheese and chicken tenders. I've been making 2 dinners. Any helpful things? Anyone have a good dinner for the whole family that is still healthy?

Tue. Apr 15, 5:30pm

Add comment  
Stop making two dinners. Serve them small portions of your healthful dinner and surround it with healthy sides they LIKE. You may be starting out with fruit cups and carrot sticks and ranch dip. Ease into it. Over time they will adjust to the way it is and try more things…IF you serve it and you expect it of them.

Every meal my kids get fruit and a vegetable - could be a roasted vegetable or a salad. But there is something green on their plate almost every dinner. And they have to finish it to get more of the stuff that is more desirable to them. We started out small and over time the portions have gotten bigger and bigger. Now I often serve two vegetables along with fruit and the main. I still occasionally serve them the junk they like, but it's in smaller portions and it's surrounded by a lot more healthful stuff and to get seconds of anything, they have to eat their vegetables. The biggest thing is expectation, honestly. If they always get their desired meal as a fallback there's absolutely no incentive to try anything new or healthful!!

Another tip - stop buying unhealthy options. Don't make any declarations about it - just when they ask - simply say, "Oh, we're out of that right now."

Tuesday, April 15, 2014, 11:18 PM

Add comment
p.s.., also consider…you're doing great for yourself by changing your eating habits and eating healthfully, too. Don't they deserve good nutrition, too?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014, 11:21 PM

Add comment
When grocery shopping, I let my 8 year old pick out the specified produce on my shopping list. It secretly kills me to do this, she doesn't inspect the items close enough in my opinion... but she is more invested and ALWAYS eats the vegetables she picks out... especially if she assists with preparing the meal.

Our 8 year old likes fresh baby spinach, carrots, steamed broccoli, steamed cauliflower, tomato, avocado, fresh steamed green beans, peas, mushrooms cooked in sauces and cooked in main dishes.

Sometimes I buy the frozen packages of vegetable medley mixes, and she usually likes those (my husband is more of a picky eater, and won't eat the frozen stuff, so I have to disguise it and add lots of spices, fresh herbs, etc. ha!) She won't eat cooked spinach though. She won't touch the stronger greens either. But I'm not too worried about it, as her palate is still developing. She eats things today that should won't eat 6 months ago. Just keep trying. Make your kids take at least one bite of the regular vegetables every time you serve it, and after the 15th or 50th time, they eventually come around.

Another trick, I arrange the food artistically on the plate. It sounds silly, but she gets super excited when she sees the food arranged gorgeously on the plate, and loves a set table with candles, fancy plates, glasses, the works! We don't always go all out for dinner, but I try to make it a pleasant experience if I'm introducing her to new foods. I hate making two dinners too, and sometimes I just make a smaller version with less spices for our 8 year old.

I still make our 8 year old the mac and cheese and all that other kid food on Monday nights. We call it "Kiddie Gourmet" Night and I will make foods from scratch, using recipes, nothing from boxes. Sure, it's still considered junk food, but it is cleaner because I opt for organic and natural ingredients. And it's only one night a week. My daughter decides the main dish on Kiddie Gourmet nights.

For ideas, I like to check out Pinterest, but most of my stuff tends to come from the Food Network. Once I print out the recipe, I always tweak it a little to suit our tastes and preferences. We love us some garlic and onions!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014, 12:07 AM

Add comment
You don't have to do anything fancy. You can put out carrots (even with no dip) or cucumbers or whatever you have available. I always find if I make anything with cheese on top, it will be eaten.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014, 3:30 PM

Add comment

Related Content:

How To Lose Weight- The Basics
Weight Watchers Points System
The Fat Smash Diet
The Eat To Live Diet
The Beck Diet Solution
How To Get The Motivation To Lose Weight


How To Be Successful Using PEERtrainer

How To Burn Fat
Online Weight Loss Support- How It Works
Does Green Tea Help You Lose Weight?
Tips On Using PEERtrainer
Visit The PEERtrainer Community
Diet and Fitness Resources


Weight Watchers Meetings
Learning To Inspire Others: You Already Are
Writing Down Your Daily Workouts
Spending Money On A Personal Trainer?
How I Became A Marathon Runner


Preventive Health

How To Prevent Injuries During Your Workout
Flu Season: Should You Take The Flu Shot?
Are You Really Ready To Start PEERtrainer?
Super Foods That Can Boost Your Energy
Reversing Disease Through Nutrition

New Diet and Fitness Articles:

Weight Watchers Points Plus
How To Adjust Your Body To Exercise
New: Weight Watchers Momentum Program
New: PEERtrainer Blog Archive
Review Of The New Weight Watchers Momentum Program

Weight Loss Motivation by Joshua Wayne:

Why Simple Goal Setting Is Not Enough
How To Delay Short Term Gratification
How To Stay Motivated
How To Exercise With A Busy Schedule

Real World Nutrition and Fitness Questions

Can Weight Lifting Help You Lose Weight?
Are Protein Drinks Safe?
Nutrition As Medicine?

Everyday Weight Loss Tips

How To Eat Healthy At A Party
How To Eat Out And Still Lose Weight
The Three Bite Rule
Tips On How To Stop A Binge