Tips for Parents: How to Make Healthy Food Appealing To Kids
Having trouble serving anything green at your dinner table? You are not alone, veggies and healthy meals scare children around the world, and it’s a growing epidemic. But here are some ways to make healthy meals easier on everyone:
Lead by example and don’t make it a big deal: Children follow your every move whether you are prepared for it or not. So the way you respond to healthy meals and veggies is important. Embrace healthy eating and your child will follow suit. There may be some veggies or meals that you or your spouse may not like but if you child see’s that you don’t like them; they will have a harder time trying them. Incorporate healthy eating and foods in to your lifestyle. The more you make healthy eating part of your daily routine the more likely your child will accept the idea.
Get your child in the kitchen: allowing your child to help prepare the healthy meals is a great way for them to accept them. When your child is part of the preparation process they feel like they have done something on their own and of course want to try their masterpiece. Get a stool for the kitchen and their own apron, depending on their age and ability allow them to do different tasks like stirring or measuring. Remember to always supervise your child in the kitchen.
Make it pretty and fun: If it looks gross and green, most likely no one wants to eat it. Try to make your healthy meals look as delicious as possible. Attempt to make each healthy meal recognizable to other meals they are familiar with example: Turkey Burgers, Veggie pasta and grilled chicken fingers etc. Another way to make veggies more enjoyable is to make it fun! Example: A thin crust whole wheat pizza with veggies-make a smiley face out of the veggies before cooking. Or arrange broccoli on a plate and call them ‘dinosaur trees’. Get creative!
Try it once: No matter your age, a picky eater is never enjoyable. Even at the age of 35, a picky eater is not only annoying but difficult to feed. Try this tactic when they are young, always try something once. Majority of the time children base their decision of a healthy meal on the looks without tasting. Usually when they take a couple of bites, they quickly realize that in fact, the meal is yummy! Enforce the ‘try everything once’ rule, if they truly do not like it after several bites, then they can move on.
Start your children now on a normal healthy lifestyle by incorporating veggies early. Don’t make it a big deal and remember to lead by example. Make it fun and tasty looking and have your child help you in the kitchen. Now dig in and happy healthy dining!
Sara is an active nanny as well as an active freelance writer. She is a frequent contributor of http://www.nannypro.com/.