Cottage cheese gets a bad rap.  It has the misfortune of being thought of as a diet food (and a pretty awful one at that).  But let me tell you how it could change your life.

bowl of cottage cheese with spoonI suggest cottage cheese but it could be another food you feel is suitable for your child that they may not love but they like it enough for it to work as a fabulously easy and consistent back up for the times you cook something that doesn’t quite make the cut for your little one.

Give yourself the ability to cook whatever you desire and open up yours and your child’s culinary world without the worry you’ll have to make a whole other dinner when your child refuses to eat your delicious new dish.

Sometimes, having a backup is all you need to turn a tense meal around.

Kids have all sorts of reasons to decline your meal: they don’t like it, they don’t feel like eating it today, they’re cruising for some control.  Having a backup eliminates the sting of your kids’ snubs.

Having a backup means you don’t have to beg, bribe or cajole your kids into eating, you don’t have to cook an alternate meal (or multiple alternates if you have a couple of kids) and you don’t have to worry about starvation.  You can simply say, “There’s always cottage cheese.”

A backup gives your children the safety net they need.

The backup gives your kids control over what they eat because they know exactly what the options are: they eat either the meal you’ve prepared or the backup.

The backup gives your children the freedom to try new foods because they know there’s always an out: the backup.

The backup eliminates the power play.

Your children don’t have to like cottage cheese.

Don’t panic if your kids don’t like cottage cheese. There are lots of other foods you can use as a backup: tofu, hummus, plain yogurt, beans (or anything else you feel is healthy enough, is readily available and can be consumed without cooking).

Whatever backup food you choose, make sure it meets the following criteria:3 pots of dips houmous and salsa and cottage cheese on a wooden bread board

1) The backup must always be the same food item. Pick ONE food and only ONE food to use as a backup.  It will undermine your efforts if your give your children choices for the backup or if the backup changes from time to time.

2) The backup must always be available. Use a food that isn’t highly perishable and which you usually stock. Cottage cheese works because it comes in small snack sizes that stay fresh for weeks at a time.

3) The backup must be nutritious.  That way you won’t worry when your children choose it.

4) The backup must be a NO COOK item.  The point is to make your life easier, not harder.

5) The backup must NOT be a preferred food.  Don’t choose cereal, sandwiches, flavored yogurt, or anything else your children would rather eat. You don’t want to give them an incentive to choose the backup. Instead, select something your kids like, not LOVE, and which they find kind of boring.

The backup works by changing the dynamic at the dinner table.  When you set the overarching parameters, and your children make the choices, you alter your interactions so there’s no more fighting about food. And your kids end up eating more of what you serve.  Now that’s a habit to cultivate!

~Discover your families own path to healthy eating happiness~