I had a meaningful conversation in the peds office yesterday about sharing knowledge with parents - in a non-aggressive, informative way. It's my opinion that any pparent is looking for ideas and help, but almost never seeking advice. Regardless of who is providing the advice. That said, here are some of the things I've done with my kids to help them eat better - and to not be limited in their diet.
Dried fruits, nuts, graham crackers, yogurt, cheese (the real kind), celery sticks, carrot sticks, apple wedges, fruit in season, grape tomatoes (I find that they are less acidic), and crackers. When we go anywhere in the car, it's always with plenty of snacks -- always. The kids call it "adventure food."
I offer non-sugared cereals, homemade oatmeal - with fresh fruit cooked in (my favorite is peach- tastes like peach pie!), eggs, fresh fruit in season, yogurt. When I don't have milk in the house, I offer yogurt on top of cereal, or even juice. Not what you expect, but unexpectedly delicious. And a different texture, which I think help makes kids more texture agnostic.
Sandwiches, salads, vegees, cheese (lots of cheese), milk, fruit - as pleasantly plated as possible! I love to combine things too - like bananas and peanut butter sandwiches or celery and peanut butter. Stuff you wouldn't expect.
Anything goes. Shrimp scampi - kids love linguini! Artichokes - boiled, steamed, grilled - any old way, fish baked, poached, broiled or grilled, salads with lots of ingredients and textures - and different flavor profiles. Arugula for bitter, pears for sweet and crunchy, cheese for salt, some sort of protein, some sort of cheese, nuts for protein, frisee and other leafy vegees for visual interest. Always visually interesting, and always as colorful as possible.
The kids help plant, take care of, and harvest the herbs and other stuff they eat - and they come to the market with us to pick their proteins and vegees. They love the farmers market. (and the farmers love them!) We also go to farms whenever possible for our produce. The kids love seeing stuff grown.
Bah, I digress. Again.