Monday, March 19, 2012

Growing up, my mother made sure that my sister and I ate a healthy, well balanced diet; there wasn't a single fruit or vegetable that she didn't insist we try! I don't remember her ever having a problem getting us to try a new food so I never really realized how hard it could be to get a child to eat less junk food and choose more healthier options.

When I became a mother, I just assumed that kids ate what you put on their plates, because that's how it was in my house growing up. When my oldest daughter was four she became very picky about the foods that she ate, she wouldn't try anything new, fruits and vegetables were not high on her list of favorites and she pretty much refused to eat anything but spaghetti. As a first time mother I was so worried about her being stubborn and not eating anything at all that most of the time I gave into her and let her eat what she wanted. Then my middle daughter came along and around the same age began the picky eater stage...I knew I had to do something to get my kids to eat a balanced diet--and fast! I made a decision right then and there to not give into their tantrums and candy, cookies, ice cream and any other form of snack food, was GONE from my house!

It took a little while for the girls to warm up to the whole healthy snack craze, but eventually they did; they began to eat more fruits and veggies and try new foods, they even began choosing water over sugary fruit drinks with dinner. For us, or for my kids rather, it was about refusing to give in to requests for unhealthy foods and instead offering them the opportunity to try new foods and switching out foods that were not so great for them with healthier alternatives! I'm proud to say that my oldest daughters have done a great job at maintaining a healthy diet, now if I could only convince the babies that brussel sprouts were yummy...hmmm, I'll get back to y'all on that one!

Since I have you here, I thought I'd take this opportunity to tell you about a super cool contest that Tyson has going on! The contest is called the Get a Smile, Give a Smile contest and until March 31st you can upload a picture of your child enjoying chicken nuggets...the winner will receive a feature ad in People and Parents magazines and on a billboard in Times Square! How cool is that?

Thanks to Tyson’s 100% All Natural Chicken Nuggets, now you don’t have to choose between making your kids happy and feeding them balanced meals.

But I’m curious, how do you ensure your child maintains a balanced diet? Join the conversation and Tyson will select a winner and donate $500 in the winner's name to a local food bank!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Tyson Nuggets. The opinions and text are all mine. Official Sweepstakes Rules.