Mom Score: I Figured Out How To Get Fruits and Veggies Into My Kid's Diet!

Ever since I heard the CDC's statement that kids in the 95th percentile are considered to be "Obese,"I've really been thinking a lot about what I can do to make sure my kid is healthy, and more importantly, has a healthy approach to eating. Seeing as how my toddler's diet is 95% controlled by me, it's up to me to provide as may healthy options as possible. FYI: The other 5% of his diet is made up of 1% the crap he picks up off the ground and eats before I can stop him and 4% what FTD, family, friends and bank tellers hand my kid. I have it in my mind now, that since you are what you eat, I want my kid to eat as much awesomeness as possible!

When Ollie was a baby, he would eat anything I put in front of him.  As he got older, things got much trickier.  He only wanted pasta, yogurt and bread. To make matters worse, I would let him have those three things because I just wanted him to eat. So every night, I would make a dinner for Ollie and then something different for FTD and I. I just wanted the kid to eat!  FAIL! FAIL! FAIL!

When I finally got sick of making two separate meals to let Ollie have his way, I started trying to make him eat what FTD and I were having.  Some nights went well, others ended in yogurt or pasta.  Throughout it all, I tried to get him to eat fruit with each meal. Veggies were an uphill battle, but I tried those every night for dinner. Still, pasta, bread and yogurt made up a large part of his diet. FAIL! FAIL! FAIL!

Then this whole thing with CDC saying my kid was obese, came to light.  While I knew in my heart that even though Ollie had never been below the 95th percentile for weight or height his entire life, he was still a healthy boy, by no means Obese! After talking with Ollie's pediatrician about my concerns, and being told that Ollie was certainly not obese, but rather a strong healthy boy, I calmed down, but the pediatricians final words on the matter lingered...

"It's important that you focus on your son's diet more than numbers. He is a great kid, feed him great food."

Damn right, he is a great kid! He deserves great food...

Over the past few weeks, I have been trying to make a change around our house that includes having healthy vitamin rich foods right at Ollie's finger tips. I keep fruit bowls out on the counter with washed fruit for him to grab, and his favorite little bowl of grapes washed and ready in the refrigerator. I only give him water to drink, and thankfully he is cool with that. At each meal, I make sure he as at least one serving of fruits and veggies and grains. Most times, I have to be sneaky with the veggies and hide them in sauces or mixed well with other foods. I'm happy to say, I have recently found he loves dipping carrots in hummus, peas, corn (On the cob) and edamame... Yes, edamame!

I've learned three important lessons through this change:

1. It's not about trying to get all of his needed fruit, veggie and grain servings in during the big meals, but rather try to get him to snack on healthy foods to take the pressure off the big meals. He will snack on edamame and carrots if I leave them in a small bowl on the coffee table, and graze over fruit mid morning and afternoon.

2.  I don't want a "chicken and french fries" kid. I cannot feed him what he likes all of the time. It's such a fail! I have to keep introducing new foods, and old ones he has turned his nose up at. Which, I have been pleasantly surprised to see him eat foods I never thought possible a couple of months ago!

3. I am helping my kid learn a healthy approach to food. My goal is to get him to constantly try new things, and to enjoy the fruits of the earth...  NOT the fryer vat at Chick Fil-A.

All that being said, it's not always peas and carrots now; feeding a toddler is definitely a process. Some days he is open to try new things, others he is a total shit. But the small victories of him eating all of his veggies at a meal or asking for fruits for his snack over chips, makes the process worth it. I have to admit, I feeling very proud of myself and my son's nutrition these days.

What do you do to provide healthy meals and a healthy approach to food?

April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit