From the time my kid started solids until she was about 2, I was incredibly smug when talking about her eating habits. Hummus, broccoli, avocados, green beans, peas, chicken curry — you name it, she ate it. And then, suddenly, she was all about boxed macaroni and cheese, chocolate milk, and cookies. (Seriously. All the cookies.) We don't force her to eat things she doesn't like (but we do encourage her to try them), so now I'm in a spot where I need to know which of her favorite kid foods have actual nutrients. Like, surely she's ingesting something good when she ignores the green veggies at dinner, but scarfs down a peanut butter and jelly sandwich at school every day, right?
Turns out, she is getting some kind of vitamins and nutrients with her favorite food. Jill Castle, registered dietitian and childhood nutrition expert, tells Romper that it is possible to highlight the positives in some of your kid's favorite foods. While some items are strictly "fun foods" — like the chocolate chip cookies — that doesn't mean indulging in them a bit will leave your child bereft of nutrients and vitamins. On the other hand, these aren't exactly items to fill the holes in their nutrition. Basically, the below infographic is here to make you feel a little less panicky about your kid's favorite foods. Maybe they shouldn't have straight mashed potatoes and chocolate milk for days on end, but if one lunch allows you to eat your own food in peace, know that they're getting something out of it. You know, beyond the calories and pure happiness from avoiding another run at those green beans.