Recently we asked in Sleekgeek’s Raising Healthy Kids Facebook Support Group:
Which healthy (or relatively healthy) foods do you know that your kids actually LIKE and WILL eat?
Not what you think they like or think they should like, but what do they actually honestly like?
Below are some of the responses from the Sleekgeek community that you can use for ideas.
(We would love to hear directly from you what foods YOUR kids like, either in the comments below or by joining the discussion on Facebook.)
- Kaylee: Sweet potato, cauliflower mash, peas, corn, beans, and carrots.
- Nerissa: Dates, cherry tomatoes, apples, bananas, and pears.
- Kerry-Anne: Cheese, biltong, naartjies, and bananas.
- Sands: Any type of fruit and most salad vegetables. Just not tomatoes, lol.
- Estel: Tuna, most fruit, and a variety of veggies.
- Trisha: Broccoli, peas, sweet potato, raw carrots, cucumber, apples, watermelon, and bananas.
- Tacey-Leigh: Raspberries, blueberries, mielies, peas, carrots, bananas, sweet potato, chicken, cheese, and yoghurt.
- Natalie: Carrots, potatoes, grapes, peaches, watermelon, avo, bananas, apples, biltong, cheese, and naartjies.
- Robyn: My husband is a great cook, and simply making foods instead of boxed items has meant getting kids to eat a bit more.
- Chantal: Fruit, biltong, nuts, butternut, mushrooms, yoghurt, broccoli, cauliflower (if made in a white sauce), and vegetable soup.
- Becki: Apples, carrots, tuna, rice cakes, and hummus.
- Joline: Fruit, butternut soup, sweet potatoes, and meatballs.
- Andy: Cauliflower and broccoli bake, cauli mash, sweet potatoes, soups, veggies and salads.
- Eilidh: Most veg and fruit. There are very few B refuses to eat. She goes through phases but we all do I suppose. She also likes her meats too, fattier the better.
- Adele: My child loves raw carrots, cucumber slices, and tomatoes. Bananas, apples, and cherry grapes. Also, cauliflower if I put some cheese on.
- Heidi: “Zoosketti” – spiralised baby marrow. I’ve tried to get them to eat it in a million other ways with no luck, but if I shove it through my giant sharpener, quickly saute in some olive oil, and they can’t get enough of it!
- Kim: Cherry tomatoes, raw carrots, cucumber, apples, bananas, butternut, biltong, nuts, fresh fish, oats, water, rice cakes, chickpeas, yoghurt, grilled chicken, and salmon sashimi.
- Yvette: Apples, bananas, naartjies, strawberries, frozen blueberries, dried mango, biltong, rice crackers, baby tomatoes, plain yoghurt, sugar snap peas, zughetti in tomato sauce, raw carrots, cucumber, most cooked veg with dinner, chicken drumsticks, mince, bacon, avo, eggs (scrambled, not fried), tuna mayo, and any soup.
- Kerry-Lea: Biltong, dried fruit like raisins, low-gi bread sandwiches with cheese, and home-made Rooibos ice tea with no sugar to drink.
- Vicky: My daughter (age 5) loves smoked salmon, feta, and olives. My son (age 7) loves any grilled fish, homemade guacamole, zucchini fritters, and celery sticks. Both love most fruit, biltong, raw almonds, and spinach ravioli.
- Lauren: All fruits, biltong, cheese, olive, chicken, and fish.
- Karin: Cucumber, tomatoes, peas, butternut, pumpkin, sweet corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, apples, strawberries, citrus, grapes, popcorn, biltong, lean meat, and homemade burgers.
- Andriette: Cherry tomatoes, broccoli, naartjies, watermelon, bananas, mushrooms (in pasta), cucumber, and yoghurt.
- Marisa: Tomatoes are their all time fav. Bananas, naartjies, apples, cucumber, and boiled eggs.
- Tracey: Carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and mushrooms.
Which healthy foods do YOUR kids like?
Think about what healthy foods your kids actually like and will eat.
Then, capitalise on that.
At Sleekgeek we call healthy things that we like or are good at “bright spots”.
Bright, because we should be “highlighting” them. Pointing them out, focusing on them, and using them to our advantage. Success breeds success. It builds momentum and makes everything else easier.
Here is an example: Let’s say your kid really really likes carrots, but not much else…
- Stock up. If your kid likes carrots, then these should be available as much as possible. They should be visible, accessible, and easy for the kids (and you) to find.
- Think about similar foods. Perhaps your kids like the crunchiness of the carrots. Or the taste. Or the colour. So maybe they will also like orange crunchy (raw) bell peppers. Try those out and see. If they do like those, then cut them up, put them in a ziplock bag, and again, make it convenient for your kids to eat.
- Pair other healthy foods together. So maybe they aren’t crazy about cucumber, but pairing sticks of carrots (which they like) and cucumber together as a snack might go down well enough. One of the easiest ways to “build a habit” is to stack it on top of an existing one. So if they like carrots, use that as a way to introduce or build their taste for cucumber. Just be careful not to go too far and actually ruin their enjoyment of carrots. Some people will say “you can only eat your carrots if you first eat your cucumber” but now suddenly you are making a negative association to something they previously liked.