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How to get teens and tweens who won’t eat anything healthy … to eat something healthy.



Some excellent ideas to get vitamins and minerals into tweens who won’t eat anything good for them.

The Big Question:

“I am having a hard time feeding my boys aged 10 and 12 a proper balanced diet and of course they will live on Pro Nutro and milk forever – eating = Daily struggle. Please recommend a supplement/shake/Anything that I can add daily where they are kind of supported all round I’d something like this exists? Ie They refuse any form of fruit and veg. Only steak and chips! Yes they do buy often from tuck shop as I only get them from school later – never good choices and was my last resort which I will abort asap. They don’t even receive a good amount of brain fuel either. Please help?”



“A good multi vit, and then maybe something like mac n cheese or spagbol in which you puree and “hide” the veg. What about fruit juices? Also – not great but still better is deep fried sweet potato etc. oven chips can slowly get mixed with sweet potato and pumpkin chips. Grilled veg including broccoli- makes it sweet.”


“ Get kids involved in the food preparation. Don’t make food an issue, it’s fun, inventive, creative, keep chilled rather than angst.. As this spills over into them. Making a big deal of food is part of the problem.. Not that you are, it just is. Tip. Never speak about your food worries in front of them, or within earshot.. The situation gets amplified”


“My son who is now 20, was a terrible eater when he was young. We fought for hours and hours to get him to eat certain foods. we even bribed him with money to get him to eat and still it was a battle. As I look back on it now I realise I should have just left it. Have fruit and fruit juice around and hope they get some nutrients there and give them multivitamin tablets.”


“Get a Nutri bullet freeze bananas and different fruit mix with milk and a little honey and they have a shake full of nutrition that tastes just like a milkshake even drop some nuts, oats or chia seeds to blend in or peanut butter or cocoa powder they’ll love it… Frozen banana and milk taste just like a vanilla shake”

“Their snacks should be nuts, biltong, dried fruit. I know it’s expensive but so is the crap from the tuckshop they are filling themselves with and then having a sugar drop and need to do homework which doesn’t help. Maybe try a plant based protein shake and mix with berries and yoghurt to taste better or Herbalife shakes. Peanut butter, hummus on healthy breads. And if your tuckshop sells crap, get the parents to sign a petition to make it a healthy one.”


“I recommend Bio strath and “The Real Thing” Mega Omega Supreme, plus vitamin C”


“Don’t give too much leeway for outright refusal of healthy foods. Everyone can learn to eat new foods, tiny step by tiny step. I do this daily with 24 preschoolers who also need to LEARN to eat foods.”


“I would try introduce muffins (I use that woolies bran mix and I add new items each time- grated apple/ banana/ coconut/ carrot) I find it isn’t as sweet as normal muffins and I get 12 good size ones from the batch. I always sprinkle seeds on top but you do t have to. Also I make peanut butter balls as a snack. So simple. Peanut butter (unsalted and unsweetened) and roll in oats and coconut and add chocolate chips.  Maybe sit down with your kids and have a few printouts of lunch box ideas and ask them each to pick 5 that they would try. Also boiled egg is great cheese strips. Crumbed chicken, pizza, wraps. So many options but they need to give you at least 2 things you can add like lettuce and cucumber. Home made smoothies are also a winner. Filled pancakes, flapjacks with blueberries.”


“Superfoods have various shakes and powders all organic and packed with nutrients that you can add to your meals to get some goodness in to them. Available at heath shops.”


“Slowly introduce small steps. A tiny raw carrot with the steak and chips (every time). For several times til accepted.
Then a slice of apple with their lunch until it’s accepted. In this way, within a year they’ll be eating an array of new things you never thought possible. A child needs to taste something around 11 times before they are ‘used’ to it. Try one food at a time. It worked with my extremely fussy (now grown-up) son and works in my preschool class where they get offered three different fruits and veg every week.”


“Don’t keep any junk in the house. That way everyone has to get used to the idea of healthier eating. They will eat what’s provided, they ain’t going to starve. Developing great habits around food shopping, food prep and then actual eating is a life skill.  (Flings for dinner every now and then is absolutely also ok!) We all have those days.”


“Winners for our very fussy skinny son: oats with finely milled almonds and flax seeds, spoon of butter and honey for breakfast; biltong, droewors, cashews and dried mango for snacks, after excercise Wazoogles vanilla organic shake with full cream milk, 4 ice cubes and honey in Nutribullet; most delicious fruit drink of mango, naartjie, pineapple, orange juice and 4 ice cubes in Nutribullet (he doesn’t eat any fruit except naartjies) he loves this and has it almost every day. Spag bol with half meat and half veg chopped to smithereens in Magimix with lots of tomato sauce, that wonderful food group of its own.”











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