What Are Your Kids' Favorite Summer Recipes?

Helping parents of picky eaters encourage their children to eat better.

When my daughter first began eating solid food, we fed her what we ate. It was healthy food and she seemed to enjoy her meals. Then suddenly, she began to turn her nose up at certain foods. I kept trying, but to no avail; I am the parent of a very, picky eater. The fact is, I am not alone. Check out this article from the Children's Physicians Network regarding picky eaters.

Thankfully, my daughter eats enough healthy food to grow and be a happy child. In light of the famine in Somalia, I am grateful we have food on the table for my children to eat. But like many parents, I would like to get some variety back in my child's diet. With all of the fun food summer has to offer, I just need to get her to try something new!

How can we get kids to eat? Parents.com gives parents some food for thought with 15 Ways To Get Your Kids To Eat Better; advice from a nutritionist. One thing is for sure, children love getting involved in meal preparation and maybe that can make all the difference.

My family and I love taking advantage of the summer's bounty by making trips to the Farmers Markets in both and Chatham. The kids pick out their own fresh fruits, vegetables, cheese, bread and other delicious items. Afterwards, we head home and make a meal out of it. 

If you want to get a close look at the source of your food, head out to one of the many local farms, such as Alstede Farms in Chester, and pick your own berries, peaches or whatever else is ripe at the moment. Make it a day at the farm, come home and get creative with the food you and your kids had fun picking in the fields.

In a search for healthy kid recipes, you will find Jessica Seinfeld's Deceptively Delicious cookbook which dishes out recipes with well-hidden vegetables and other healthy ingredients kids might routinely refuse. This is a fantastic idea unless you have very suspicious children like me. You can also check out the Food Network's recipes for kids along with Nickelodeon's Parents Connect site Recipes for Kids.

What's cooking in your house? Patch want to know what parents in Chatham and Madison are cooking, grilling and baking for their kids this summer. Give us your advice for getting kids to try new, healthy foods and please share some creative summer recipes that your kids enjoy! We love hearing from you.

Elizabeth McConnell August 17, 2011 at 05:11 PM
Fresh Fruit is such a great way to get my kids to eat healthy in the summer. They're wild for berries and stone fruit at this time. No recipe needed -- just wash and go! Berries are also a great way to get them to try a green salad. If there's something they know they like in there, they'll give it all a try. Grilled corn is also a huge summer hit. We also do a lot of what we call shakes but some say smoothies, with tons of hidden goodies like Kale and raw nuts and seeds inside -- I think they were doing something similar at Whole Foods last week to promote a blender of some sort. Buying, picking or even growing the food themselves makes a big difference in what my picky eaters will consider. Also, in my experience, they do outgrow the extreme pickiness. I have a shelf full of books on the matter collecting dust.


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