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new to mothering step children

I married a man with 4 children, 3 living at home. He had sole custody of the children. Along with the long days of work and travel often 10-12 days their eating habits were limited to fast processed foods. Needless to say introducing them to other cooking is a challenge, and I am a Chef, I might add–their ages are 17, 11,10 any suggestions would be appreciated. For New Years eve I served stuffed artichokes along with our meal, my husband and I were the only ones who ate them!

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  1. Good luck with that…I married a man with 3 boys and I am a dietitian. It takes patience and perseverance. I found a few favorites that I repeated with a slight change in side dishes … it’s been 3 years and while they are still not in the habit of eating everything I make, they are a lot better. Find what they like and build on that…oh, I also make sure they taste everything at least once.

  2. I don’t know about the 17 yo, but the other two might respond well to growing their own vegetables. Cherry tomatoes, green onions, green beans, peas and carrots can be grown in containers indoors in the winter. We even planted a potato plant once. A fresh herb garden could be a plus, too. Set out your expectations of the components of a meal and give them the ads or take them to the store and let them plan a meal. Involve them in cooking and setting the table. My 8-10 year olds love to set the table in different ways (we have brightly colored kids dishes I got from Walmart and they pick a color scheme for the day).

  3. I’d start slowly and build on what they like- if anything! Some kids like raw better than cooked so baby carrots with ranch dressing, or apple slices with yogurt might be easier than cooked vegetables. My kids like the frozen veggies for one- and they can each choose a different one. They’re a little more expensive but at least they’ll eat it. And I always add grated zucchini to meatloaf- they don’t know its there. I also leave a bowl of ready to eat fruit (washed grapes or berries) on the kitchen table while I make dinner- we’re all hungry then and snack on it while we wait. Good luck!

  4. I am not married and don’t have any kids, but I am still young. I’m 20, and it took me awhile to start eating food that my mother prepared. Most kids at that age would rather put a can of spagetti O’s in the microwave and eat that. I agree with jen. Just be patient. :) They will eventually come around and know that mother knows best.

  5. I don’t have step children but I do have 11 children of my own. Some are grown and gone but getting my kids at home adequate nutrition is always a challenge. Four years ago we we were introduced to a company that encapsulates fruits and vegetables. It is whole food, raw and vine ripened. Because some of my kids were in the 6-15 age range they qualified to get it free. That is how we got started on the road to better health. It has made a difference in their eating habits.

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