To quote my co-worker and fellow Miami HEAT broadcaster Jason Jackson…IT…IS…TIME. Yes I’m finally doing it folks. I have decided to take back meal times in our home. Call it a food revolution (like Jamie Oliver), call it painful, call it anything you like…but I call it absolutely necessary, and it has a name; ONE NEW FOOD.
Do you struggle with mealtimes like we do? Tired of begging to get your kids to eat? Us too, so we’re doing something about it.
We are implementing one new food a week to our kids, and are insisting they try, (and swallow) at least two bites. Why this drastic change? Why upset the balance of a calm environment? Well it’s simple. The chicken nugget experiment, which worked well when we were consistent, has failed. I’ve fallen back into the trap of giving these to our girls when they don’t like what I make.
Another reason is this; I was floored when they wouldn’t eat this breakfast bear toast. I mean come on….really?
And lastly, our recent vacation was impossible. Our five year old wouldn’t eat a different brand of wheat bread, or even try new fruits while we were away. They have become too complacent on eating the same foods, and they cringe when there is something new on their plates. This is our fault, we give in to what is easy and quite frankly I have become lazy. We as parents want our children fed and happy, and don’t like meal time battles anymore than they do.
But we are also creating a society of children that are eating a majority of processed foods. They are becoming addicted to sugar and are not getting enough fruits, vegetables, and proteins. According to Jamie Oliver and his Food Revolution, 43 million children under the age of 5 are obese. How do we fix this problem? Baby steps with #ONENEWFOOD a week…to start. Will you join us?
I’m not talking brussel sprouts every night for dinner, or egg white omelettes every morning. I’m talking about gradual changes. Here are some suggestions:
one new food ideas
- Switch from white bread to wheat bread.
- Try a new lunch meat, or roast a turkey breast and use the slices for sandwiches.
- Use whole wheat pasta instead of standard white.
- Make homemade pancakes (with whole wheat flour) and freeze them instead of buying the pre-made kind in the freezer section.
- Try a new fruit for a snack instead of a boxed goldfish cracker or another pre-packaged snack.
- Try one new vegetable at dinner.
- Make homemade chicken nuggets or tenders one night instead of a store bought brand.
- Try juicing! Our girls love Green Lemonade.
- Try making a smoothie for breakfast once a week loaded with fruits, greens and other yummy nutritional goodness.
These are just a few suggestions, the sky is the limit. But the focus is not just to expand their palate, but to also try to introduce more whole foods and less processed foods from a box. Think about your supermarket, try adding foods that you would buy in the perimeter sections of your store. Fruits and veggies, different meats and proteins, almond milk, almond butter etc.
I also asked my friend and blogger Lauren from Oh Honestly, who has three kids and struggles with meal times as well, to join me on this #ONENEWFOOD journey. We are going to blog about our experiences each Friday, and hope you will try too! If you’re not a blogger…no worries! We hope you will upload your photos to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and tag us and use hashtag #ONENEWFOOD. We will feature our favorite photo each week on our blogs and social media channels.
And if you are a blogger, we hope you will join us by blogging about your new food experiments. We are hoping to add a linkup as well…stay tuned!
We can’t wait to see what new foods you are trying – and the reactions…good or bad. The important thing is to try one new food…remember it takes as many as ten times before your child will adjust to the new taste or texture.
And here is my photo for the week. She didn’t like the way I prepared the chicken, no coating with just salt and pepper. Tough luck chica!
If you are looking for new kid-friendly recipes, check out my weekly meal plans. The kids really loved this Almond Oven Fried Chicken this week.
Good luck parents…you can do this!
Woohoo! So excited. Thanks for including me!!
I know – this is going to be fun, interesting, and hopefully not too many tears shed!
I’m down! I’ll try it!
Can’t wait to see what you pick ans your first #onenewfood!
What a great idea! I will def join in by trying this!!
Yay I’m so happy to hear that! I thought of you and your healthy lifestyle when I was writing this and hoped you would join in! We are going to start a linkup too next week, hopefully we can convince you to co-host with us once it’s up.
this is awesome… my daughter just had a chicken nugget for the first time a couple months ago – she’s 7. her favorites are quinoa, salmon, salads, she’s not a huge avocado fan but my son is!
You are awesome Nicole, seriously awesome. I have tried quinoa (and will be trying it again) but I fell into the “kid food” trap. Maybe you can teach us all lessons next week on how you were able to coax your kids to eat yummy foods like salmon and salad? We are going to have a link up, hope you’ll join us!
I’m in, my kids may be grumpy, but I couldn’t agree more. Time to take back meal times!
Awesome Jen – what will be your first #onenewfood? I can’t wait to see what you come up with…Olaf’s nose?
Tammy @ creativekkids says
Love the pic! I think all of us have one. I took a video of my last two kids throwing a fit over their two bites they had to eat! Eventually they learn it’s better to just get the two bites over with. I can’t wait to read your posts every Friday, and I applaud what you are doing!
Thank you Tammy, glad to hear it’s not just ours! And thanks for your support!
I LOVE this idea and will promote it, as well. My new favorite side dish/snack is kale chips. They are really easy to make. If I get “lazy” I just buy the baby kale salad (so I don’t have to wash it) and throw in a casserole dish. (I even buy disposable ones at BJs so I don’t have to wash. I know, using these sounds ridiculous, but for the $10 it costs, it saves me hours of cleaning over a two-month period.) I then sprinkle about 1tbsp of olive oil and sea salt over the kale and bake in the oven. If I’m already baking a chicken, I just throw in the kale chips pan in the oven and watch them. For optimal health benefits, cooking them at a lower heat for a longer time is best. But hey, if my kid is eating kale (and he does) I’m happy. Higher temps obviously take less time (375 takes about 5 minutes each side.)
Wow – I never thought to make Kale chips. I am adding this to my #onenewfood list…thanks for the suggestion. And support. We are starting a link up next Friday, please stop by with your favorite kid friendly recipes, picky eater stories, or #onenewfood experiences. Thanks so much for your encouragement!
Michelle Girasole says
My kids LOVE kale chips. As in – they actually fight over them. “You had more than me, Moooooommmmm, can you make more?” Small victories!
Shaunna @ Fantastic Fun and Learning says
I love it! We’re in a breakfast rut. I think I’ll start by trying one new breakfast food a week. Thanks for the inspiration!
Great idea Shaunna! I’m tired of toast, waffles and pancakes too. We need some new proteins.
Michelle Girasole says
I began this morning, trying to introduce a non-GMO breakfast cereal. Served both kids a bowl of Kashi GoLean Crunch – Naturally Sweetened Multigrain Cluster Cereal. (Go big or go home, right?)
Nick ate it without question. Jessie wouldn’t try it. Even got a nose wrinkle. Left it in front of her while she was reading. Let’s see if I don’t “make it an issue”, she will try it while I’m not looking…
That always happens Michelle – one of mine will love a food and the other won’t try it. Baby steps…literally!
Michelle Girasole says
We LOVE that you are doing this challenge! After learning about it last week, we are definitely supporting it in spreading the word. Jamie Oliver is all about educating kids about food, where it comes from and getting them excited about being in the kitchen. Excited to see how this all unfolds!
Thanks for your support Michelle!
My pediatrician told me to do something similar, but I failed. She suggested one new veggie a week, served three times in different forms. So if I tried carrots, they’d be raw carrot sticks one night, steamed carrots one night, mixed with something else another…and the kids had to try a bite each time. But I didn’t do a very good job of being consistent. Going to work on this!
Also, funny thing about the chicken nuggets – my kids were COMPLETELY OBSESSED and would only eat Mickey Nuggets from Costco for the longest time. We just bought them some after not buying any for a long time, and guess what? My oldest CRIED when I put them on his plate because he “doesn’t like Mickey nuggets anymore!” WTH!
Jack and Lila need to be friends.
No more mickey nuggets huh? Jack and Lila just need to eat the damn carrots! I like your pediatrician’s suggestion. Hopefully this will give you motivation, can’t wait to see what you try next week! (wink, wink!)
Love love love this my friend! We are on a major health journey in our house too.
I’ll catch you up tomorrow and get on this with you. I’ve already committed my house to juiceplus and it’s working as you know. I’ve got ideas big ideas for getting the kids to eat better. We’ll
Tackle it tomorrow. 😉
Yes – what color is this week? 😉
This is something I really tried to focus on from the moment my kiddos started eating finger food, which was early. When my step-daughter started eating regular meals with us it was a disaster! She literally gagged at the table when she had to try new foods and took over an hour to eat because she was used to eating chicken nuggets, pizza, mac ‘n cheese, and fast food in front of the tv. I’ve also struggled with my weight all my life so I started my kids out very healthy, and work very hard to introduce them to a lot of healthy food. It’s working too! Not saying we don’t have moment where they refuse to eat, but the other day my 3yo asked for asparagus for dinner – never mind that I thought he said, “a beer I guess” 🙂
Kristin – I’m so happy to hear you are making headway. I think weight is a struggle for all of us, and it’s wonderful that you are doing so well! And asparagus…wow! Mine gag! lol
Count us in! Mealtimes are rough – my older boy gets so nervous about new foods that, if we can get him to try them, he subsequently vomits. We keep trying, though. This next week, I think we will try variations on some of the foods he will eat.
I’m so sorry to hear that about your boys – but I’m glad you will try with us. Even if it’s just a new fruit, or a different bread, just getting them used to seeing new things I think will help you. Wow, vomiting? That’s hard!
Tara Newman says
This is awesome and a huge problem that all parents have. We have daily discussions with our kids around healthy habits and we strive to motivate them to live a more healthy lifestyle overall. Trying one new food is a great approach.
Thanks Tara – I’m hoping more parents will put away their fears of tantrums and join us on this movement!
Aubrey @ 53 Weeks says
Great tips! I’d just settle for my (older) toddler to eat what’s in front of him….but it’s such a chore to figure out what’s “trending” on his daily food palette!!! I’m hoping he grows out of it!!!
Lauren Tamm says
I am 100% behind you on this concept. We really minimize processed food in our home. We make pancakes, waffles, whole-wheat bread, full fat yogurt, and cereal all from scratch. Yes, it does take slightly more time and is slightly less convenient than boxed food. However, it is much cheaper and much, much healthier for all of us in the family. I’m all for using STRONG encouragement when it comes to quality eating and setting boundaries when it comes to processed food.
Absolutely Lauren! It’s difficult to transition, but will be worth it!
Love Keil (MunchkinTime) says
I have a picky eater defiantly going to try some of those great tricks!
Serena @ Simple Holistic Girl says
Visiting from Turn it Up Tuesday! What a fantastic idea – I love the “…and swallow” addition because my kids literally will take one look or one bite and decide it’s not for them. That’s a nice deal to make – everyone’s going to have likes and dislikes, even kids – of course, sometimes their dislikes are extremely overexaggerated.
Good for you (and your girls!). This is not an easy thing to do, but such a smart and long-term benefit action. I love your idea of taking it easy and slow – nothing too drastic. It will pay off!
Thank you for sharing at Wake Up Wednesday. Sharing on my FB page this afternoon.
Kristen @ A Mind Full Mom says
As a food ambassador for Jamie Oliver, I can not agree more with you!! I have a passion for teaching parents how nutrition can be easily incorporated in our busy lives. Thanks you for your tips. Do you mind if I share this with my readers at some point?
Kristen (this week my kids tried star fruit, they thought it sounded fun!)
I’m so happy you are trying along with us! And yes Kristen, please do share! Oh and Huff Post picked it up as well! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kristen-hewitt/one-new-food_b_5806850.html
Thanks for linking up your posts with the Parenting Pin It Party x x
The most life changing advice I ever got was from a nutritionist who told me about “the division of responsibility” when we feed our kids. Read Secrets to Feeding A Healthy Family by Ellyn Satter. It changed my life and the way I feed my kids. I think you would love this approach. Thanks for your post!
I will check it out – thanks!
I love this idea. We have a picky eater who has turned our other kids into picky eaters. It’s like reverse psychology or something. Our middle son refused to eat eggs FOREVER, so we served them to him, over, and over, and over, at least 100 times by this point, and you know what, now he likes them. Now the other two complain they don’t like bananas, or grapes. How will I ever win this battle? They do love smoothies and we do have a fruit with breakfast and lunch and a vegetable and fruit for dinner. I guess it could be worse, we have friends with kids that only eat nuggets, pasta, and mac and cheese. Really? I think they need to try the One New Food challenge. Great idea!
Yeah it hasn’t been easy – but now they know they at least have to try it. Smoothies are a great way to sneak in avocado and spinach…they never know!