T Nation

What Do You Feed Your Kids?


#1

I have one son who is 7 yrs old. I'll save the bragging about him for its own thread one day. :slight_smile:

We try to feed him healthy food, and since he sees Mom and Dad eating healthy, he understands quite a bit about good nutrition. However, he is a kid, and so he wants to eat food that tastes good to him. I hope we balance his nutrition and treats well, I think we do.

But sometimes, when I am eating tuna out of the can, and watching him eat his Soporo Ichiban, or SimpsonGetti, I get tinges of guilt. If he has cereal, it's only the lowest sugar content cereals, such as Cheerios or Rice Krispies, he reluctantly eats whole wheat bread. Although, if I buy the hardcore megagrain bread I like, he says he doesn't like it, "it's too healthy", he says.

All in all, I am not too concerned about his nutrition, but I am wondering, what do you feed your kids?

\|/ 3Toes


#2

What do I feed my children?

Weaker children.


#3

let kids be kids...as long as they're not overweight of course, I think you can let some stuff slide and not be so vigilant about it. I'm not saying they should eat hot dogs day in and day out mind you. They're metabolisms are completely different than ours and kids are very active, (or they should be). I think as long as they have a good foundation and know where the lines are, they can have Pebbles for breakfast...


#4

If I had kids, I would probably let them have some SimpsonGetti too, just so that they wouldn't rebel and eat even worse. I believe it's more important to be a good model, as you are, then to set rules (or even to educate). Don't sweat it bro, your concern shows you're doing a great job!


#5

I hear what you mean. My daughter's only 2 now, but I still feel guilty at times when I feed her anything canned and processed.

We usually get those chef-boy-rd spaghetti, or chicken and rice microavable meal cups, scrambled eggs, cherrios, some fruit (mostly bananas, apples and grapes) and even more frozen veggies.

We got realy lucky so far that she loves the vegetables and even likes plain, boiled chicken, and occasionally plain quaker oats.

I've only been giving her whole wheat bread whenever I give her a sandwich, but my wife uses and gives her white or Italian bread.

I also give her natural peanut butter and jelly. Again, my wife uses 'regular' pb.

All in all, I think she gets more protein than most children her age, and plenty of carbs and fat. She also has a great appetite and has always surprised people with how much she'll eat at some meals.

She's also in the 10 percentile for her weight and 5 percentile for height (born 6lbs 6oz and mom and dad are both short).


#6

Same here. My wife and I give our 2 boys (3 and 18M) all of the same helthy food we eat. They do eat more fruit and vegetables than I do. I feel the same way most of you do when we let them eat crap food, but, we also feel if we get thier diets right most of the time it's O.K. The main thing is to establish a foundation of food selection and good eating habits.


#7

I don't have a kid, not one that I know of, but I do have a 9 year old 2nd cousin and I mostly take care of her even though I'm 15 , turning 16 Sunday. She eats junk food every 10 minutes, but she also has a fast metab., although she is very muscular for a girl even anyone that age. I make sure she eats home cooked meals (that are healthy) and nothing processed; she usually eat's chicken or fish, vegatables (potatoes, corn, collagreens, etc.), and we usually have corn bread.

Oh and yeah she won't eat anything but grits in the morning, no cheese though, just hot sauce and grits.


#8

Thanks for the encouragement. What about TransFats? I just made the boy some EasyMac, and noticed it's got 2 Grams of TransFats / serving. Most nutritional labels that mention TransFats are well under 1 Gram.

From everything I've read TransFats are like poison............ argggggggggghhh......... now I am poisoning the boy...........

\|/ 3Toes


#9

I never thought of that, but now that you bring up fats, I realize that I find if very difficult to get my daughter enough (if any) good fats.

We don't feed her fish very often at all, and I KNOW she won't swallow a drop of flax oil.


#10

We have an 11 year-old, and a 13 year-old. We try very hard to keep our pantry free of processed carbs - except for a couple of days a month.

They eat oatmeal, eggs, earth grain tree-bark toast, etc. for breakfast. Lunch is eaten at school - so God knows what they are cramming in the pie-hole then. Afternoon snacks are yogurt, string cheese, Grow! shakes, or fruit. Dinner is usually whatever Jana and I are eating for our PWO meal.

Don't sweat the small stuff. Keep processed carbs to a minimum, and let them eat whatever they want every so often - Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing hard. Our kids are in excellent shape, and they don't even know that they are eating healthier than 95% of their friends.


#11

I have 4 kids ranging in age from 8 to 16. Two of them are fish eating "vegetarians". One of the two vegetarians was a vegan, that is until his cross-country times got worse when he started training harder. The one meal meal that they all enjoy is a burrito made with mild salsa, brown rice, shredded cheese, fish (tuna or a mild white fish) and black beans.

If I am pressed for time, I'll feed them all natural Annie's Mac & Cheese with a boat load of frozen vegetables thrown into the pasta pot for the last few minutes of cooking. I think Annie's used to be a New England specific product line, but now it's available nationwide.

I'm not so concerned about kids and carbs, especially if it comes from whole wheat.

http://www.annies.com/annies/news/muscle_fitness_1005.htm


#12

My two year old son eats what we eat. He doesn't get candy or junk food. He is allowed french fries every now and then and occasional popsicle. His favorite food right now is bananas. He would exclusively eat them if allowed. He also enjoys peanut butter sandwiches and milk.


#13

Glad to hear that you guys allow some flexibilty in your childrens diet. I struggle with the same issues of quality food choices. Especially since my wife is a stay at home mom, money is kind of tight some times so we just do the best that we can. My wife alternates whole grain eggo waffles and eggs day to day.

As soon as he starts eating eggs more regularly she will give him both at the same time. All meals are served with Shatto organic whole milk and all the veggies he will eat. He loves carrots and peas and green beans. He also gets some sort of fruit with every meal.

Are there any vegetables your kids eat that I havent listed. My wife is trying give him as many different options as we can so he wont become a picky eater.


#14

I forgot about eggs. My son loves eggs, which is good because we eat a lot of them. Scrambled is just fine with him.


#15

When my kids were 3 and 4 they were asking me if they could have "happy meals" for dinner. i told them no--that we were staying home (they dont eat mcdonalds unless they are at their mothers house.. another time maybe :wink:

my daughter said "but daddy, they are in the kitchen!"
i told her to go get the happy meals then and she could have them. she came back with a carton of old fashioned quaker oats.

oat "meal"
happy "meals"

same thing as far as she was concerned--simply because they had a fun name.

fine by me! ha, that was easy. to this day both of my kids love plain old fashioned oats. no sugar--nothin. just the plain oats. they make their own in coffee cups and heat them in the microwave.

kids will really eat what you teach them to eat. just make it fun and a learning experience and you will be lightyears ahead of most people who are trying to force their kids to eat boring healthy food when all the other kids at school live off of twinkies and fruit snacks.

my kids still enjoy junk food but they also know the difference. they are always asking me "is this protein or carbohydrate.. is cheese protein AND fat then.." they also like to tell eachother what is healthy and what is not. makes for GREAT brother-sister arguments during road trips. ha!

i had my kids make up 2 "menus" of healthy meals and snacks they like to eat. they actually asked me to label what kind of macronutrient each were.

for my daughter we made a menu in the shape of a butterfly and my sons simply had a bunch of lightning bolts and swords all over it. boys. both were decortated with glitter/glue/stars/stickers etc.

they take these menus with them to the grandparents etc. otherwise they stay on the fridge where the kids can read and add to them at anytime.

one thing i have noticed (prior to the menus) was that its very easy for kids to get low protein. i dont overdo things but left to their own they would probably live off fat and carbs with the occasional accidental bite of meat with dinner. so, just make sure the kids arent getting overexposed to processed carbs.

some great healthy snacks from my kids menus:
=string cheese
=canned tuna/chicken with favorite dressing
=apple wedges
=strawberries
=oatmeal with or without fruit
=celery with dip
=veggies with dip
=chunks of yellow cheese cut in fun shapes
=cottage cheese (my son likes it plain my daugther loves putting salt and tons of black pepper on it)

my kids think taking vitamins is fun. they like to see who can swallow beta-carotene and fish oil caps THE BEST. i always congradulated them when they got down, hard to swallow caps. i dont make them take their vitamins they like to.

there is a fish oil on the market that is flavored like fruit! no fishy taste at all! i dont get it anymore because they think the vitamins are fun.

i guess my "advice" could be summed up:
dont let kids eat crap all the time. make eating fun. teach them something. get them excited about eating good/healthy food.

i cant think of any more fun snacks because they took their menus to their moms! :wink:

my kids are now 5 and 7. im glad ive done things how i have. to bad my parents thought ramen noodles were a complete and balanced diet. guess thats what happens when you are poor.

welp, now im all grown up and still love ramen noodles to this day;)

cheers guys,
ryan b.


#16

geeze! i forgot all about eggs.

i always try and let my kids help with preparing meals.

omelets/eggs are one of their favorites.

i let them crack the eggs then they add oat meal and whatever seasonings they would like.

lately, my son has been on a kick of putting syrup or honey on his egg/oatmeal omelets. its minimal sugar though, so i dont sweat it since hes already getting great protein/carbs from the omelette itself.

this is a great thread.


#17

I think you people should chill out. Sure, don't let your kids eat shit 24/7, but if they are active and run around a heap, a few treats here and there aren't going to hurt them.

For young kids, I think activity is just as important as diet, if not more so.


#18

Right on. I struggle with Halloween time. It seems like Halloween is getting like some other holidays where kids have a few days of candy collecting fun at church functions, school, and the neighborhood trick or treating.

Maybe we could petition for "FUN SIZE" Grow! bars for the kids.


#19

Sure, activity is equally important as diet......... and inactive kids turn into fat kids, then fat adults. But, the way I see it, I got so many years to influence my kid. Then, he turns into a teenager, and I become a piece of shit, most likely. So, in the limited time I have the most influence over him, I have to be the best influence I can. And that includes teaching him to eat properly.

I try to adhere to the 80/20 rule myself, leaning more towards 90/10
( 90% healthy, and less than 10% crap ). That's for ME. I don't know what his ratio would be.

My point is, that if he isn't made aware the difference between quality food, and junk food now... then it will be just that much harder to get him to make quality choices later.

I figure that most of the parenting is done in these early years, and hopefully that lays the groundwork for easier teenage years for me. At least I think that's all I can do.

My boy is such a good kid now, I don't know how I'd deal with it, if he turned out like I did when I was a teen.

\|/ 3Toes


#20

massif, i think you should chill out. ha!

everything that everyone has commented on so far is REALLY GREAT STUFF. we are talking about feeding children healthy food. thats not being anal or over reactive or anything of the sort. is that what you were implying?

whatever the case its great info all around.

i will strongly agree with your point on kids being active. no one has mentioned that important aspect of healthy kids. but then again,thats not what the original post was about. still, as massif pointed out, good exercise is at least as important as good eating. maybe another topic?

cheers,
ryan b.