Baby step: kicking the overly packaged snack food habit
Making a "love connection" between food and kids is such a tricky business. You want your kids to eat healthy foods (and if you read the news, a new definition of what constitutes "healthy" is introduced just about every other day). You want them to eat foods that are whole and natural with not too much sugar. You want them to eat foods that don't have an excessive amount of packaging. But most of all, you want them to eat foods they will eat, instead of look at you blankly when you make snack suggestions with an expression that says: "Really? That's all you have? I'd rather starve and be crabby for the rest of the afternoon than eat those healthy, eco-friendly, crummy snacks..."
One thing that has made my life easier recently is that my older daughter is in school all day, so I usually only take my 3-year-old to the grocery store. That greatly cuts down on the "gimme-gimme-buy-me" mantra. However, that doesn't stop my older daughter from asking for various snacks that I'm not excited to buy. The most recent request was for string cheese. I avoided buying it for a while by simply "forgetting," but really just avoiding. Then she pestered me, and finally I decided to make my own string cheese. Pretty easy: buy a big hunk of mozzarella cheese and cut off slices day by day, and pack in durable snack container for school. The verdict: she loves it. She seems to appreciate that we can cut it into any shape we want rather than that pre-packaged uniform stick shape.
Next thing we need to kick: wogurt slurps. This is not something I would have normally bought. But we had friends visit with a cooler full of "travel food" last summer. And go-gurts left a major impression on my younger daughter. She was dying to have them. So I found a brand that didn't have HFCS, and she looooved them. She was addicted for a while. Slowly I've started "forgetting" to buy them, and she is forgetting to ask for them. So the yogurt the kids consume is returning to our old faithful Nancy's buckets again. But perhaps this summer, I'll try to find a was to make my own yogurt slurps... Has anyone tried this with any success, maybe using those home-made popsicle containers?