Why you should stop convincing your kids to eat healthy food (and what you should do instead) by Nina Manolson

Nina in her family kitchen

Have you ever had these thoughts?

“I made a really healthy meal, but I couldn’t convince my kids to even try it!”

“I’ve basically given up going to the effort of making a nice nutritious family meal because my kids just complain and want chicken nuggets anyway.”

“I’m just done with battling with my kids about veggies, it’s easier to just give them what I know they like.”

I totally get it!

As a Health Coach and Family Wellness Expert I hear those sentiments all the time.

And really, who wants food wars? Everybody loses in those situations, right? Your kids get grumpy, you get cranky, and they don’t eat any healthier. What could have been a time of connecting over a nice meal, ends up as a stress-fest!

The bottom line is that you can’t force your kids to eat healthy food.

So, what do you do when you want the best for your kids and you know that means healthy food choices.

Well first things first:

Stop the battle.

Yup, just stop fighting about it right away. Seriously it doesn’t help. I’m not saying give up your ideals of making healthy food happen in your family, I’m just saying stop arguing about it.

I have a better strategy for you.

Let’s change the food culture in your family.

Instead of being in a “healthy-food is serious business” mode, use my B.E.E. method to switch it up and make your family food culture fun and interesting (and delicious of course!)

Let’s “BEE” advocates for healthy change with a positive attitude and lots of kid involvement.



Billions of dollars every year are being spent to market junk food to our kids, we need to create our own buzz for healthy food.

For example:  Instead of offering your kids a smoothie with the news that it’s nutritious, bring some ‘buzz’ – tell the kids that it’s delicious, with a secret hidden ingredient or fruit to discover. The same excitement can be generated at dinner. If you’re making sautéed spinach, say ‘I have a magic trick. Do you think I can make this huge pile of greens fit into this tiny bowl?’

E= Empower

I know that taking your kids food shopping is not always easy, but inviting them to choose some of the fruits and veggies that get purchased helps them get involved.  This way, you’re empowering them to be an active participant in eating healthy, and they become part of the hunting and gathering process.  Just be sure everyone eats before shopping, so there is less temptation in the cookie aisle.

The other part of empowerment is to get them in the kitchen. Giving kids the tools and skills they need to make delicious food is very empowering.

E – Educate

Talk to your kids about how food affects their bodies. We raise kids to know math and how to read and write, but we also need to create food-literate children.

By teaching your kids things like:

  • how to read labels,
  • how sugar affects their body,
  • what food actually grows from the ground and what’s made in a factory
  • and more…

You’re creating an educated consumer who can then make healthy choices on their own.

Also, be sure to educate yourself. You may not have grown up in a family that made healthy choices, or you may have fallen into some unhealthy habits. Get support for yourself. Learn from someone who can guide you in making healthy food happen for you and your family.

For more free tips on how to easily add healthy, delicious foods into your kids diet without a fight go to http://www.1shoppingcart.com/app/?Clk=4846976

If you’re ready to make a healthy change for your family now, join me for the “Make Healthy Happen In Your Family; 5 weeks to feeding your kids well in a world that doesn’t” With fun and ease, I’ll walk you meal by meal into healthier habits http://www.1shoppingcart.com/app/?Clk=4846972

Nina Manolson is the founder of SmokinHotMom.com and HealthyYummyKids.com.  She helps busy moms look and feel their best and teaches them how to make healthy habits come alive in their family. She’s the author of the practical book “Feed Your Kids Well In A World That Doesn’t.  For more information go to: http://www.smokinhotmom.com

Vanilla Bean Cake- a.k.a.Guilt Free Cake

Vanilla Bean Cake

When I tell people that we have completely eliminated sugar at our house I get a variety of responses – from “Good for you!” to shock and amazement “How did you do that?” I even have some people who swear they can’t live without their sugar fix, which I think is cute actually.

We originally made this choice due to Matthew’s needs but I feel that it has benefited us all. In fact, through my sugar free journey I have slowly been able to ‘convert’ some of my other family members. Not that I am on a mission to convert anyone, it is all personal choice and it is not for me or anyone else to get preachy and tell people what to do. But I do like talking about it and sharing what I have learned with others, and if it benefits them, then I am happy to have helped.

My family became interested in what I was doing as they were watching the changes I was making and how I was doing it. They became curious, so some of them decided to try it themselves, choosing to do so for different reasons. My mother has done quite a bit without sugar, now making bread, cookies, cakes, etc. She is also very accommodating when we come to visit and makes sure that she has food and meals for us that meet the no sugar requirement. Bless her!

I also have influenced my aunt and one of my sisters, so much so that they are coming to me for recipes and tips. They are learning themselves too how to adjust a recipe that they already have to meet their needs.

Once Upon a Time

My sister Cathy, currently of Vancouver, BC and part of the costume team for Once Upon a Time (I love that show!) came to me looking for a recipe for vanilla bean cake. I had come across this when working with Nina Manolson of Healthy Yummy Kids and Smokin’ Hot Mom. Cathy had tried a vanilla bean cake before without much success so was looking for a new recipe.

She tried the recipe I gave her as is but found that for her personal tastes it was a bit dry and needed a little something to spruce it up. So she adjusted and revised the recipe and now makes this moist delicious cake! Which I can vouch is true, as I got to have a piece this summer. She usually tops it with vanilla bean ice cream, but it is very good without.

It was so good that I asked her to send me her revised recipe to post on my blog and share with you folks. So here it is, enjoy! And it is a very healthy cake, dairy free, sugar free, gluten free and full of fibre, so go ahead have 2 pieces!

Vanilla Bean Cake

2 cups cooked white beans

Coconut Oil

6 eggs

3/4 tsp. liquid stevia

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1/3 c. honey

1/4 c. coconut oil, liquified

1/3 c. coconut flour, sifted

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1.5 tsp. baking powder

1 fresh lemon

In a blender or food processor add white beans, rinsed and at room temperature (this is so they don’t cook the eggs or congeal the coconut oil), eggs, stevia, vanilla and honey. Puree well.

Then add to blender coconut oil, coconut flour, sea salt, baking powder and baking soda and puree well.

Transfer mixture from blender to a bowl. Add the zest of one lemon.  Fold in by hand.

Squeeze all the juice of the lemon into a cup and add 1 pkg.  (1 g) of stevia sweetner.  Stir and set aside until after the cake is out of the oven.

Pour mixture into a spring form pan, or a well greased 9” cake pan. Sprinkle fresh or frozen blueberries on the top.

Bake at 325 F for 55 minutes.  Check if it’s done by inserting a knife in the centre, if it comes out clean, it’s done.  Otherwise bake for  5-10 additional minutes, checking often so it doesn’t over bake.

Once cake is removed from the oven, let stand for 10 minutes.  Then, while still warm, pour lemon juice mixture over top of cake.

It is delicious warm and plain, or add a scoop of frozen dessert such as Organic Rice Dream Frozen Dessert.

Vanilla Bean Cake topped with yummy ice cream

Next week I will have my first guest blogger, Nina Manolson of Healthy Yummy Kids. She is a certified holistic health coach who believes and educates women and families how to live and eat well in a world that doesn’t. She has many tips and recipes on how to eat and live sugar free as well, so if you wish to continue your sugar free learning don’t miss her post next week!