The biggest concern parents have these days, is the fuss that their children create at meal times. Kids are choosy, they are finicky and they just do not seem to like any food that we put out on their plates. They like to eat junk food which causes them more harm than good. How can we then get them to eat healthy food?
Here are some tips to make food times fun for your kids and help them eat better-
1. Take your kids grocery shopping
Let your kids pick up produce; a new fruit or vegetable which they would like to try. Kids are more interested in trying new foods when they have picked them up.
2. Prepare meals together
Enlist the child’s support when cooking. Let them help you mix things into a bowl or pour sauces over the meal. Older children can be asked to help with chopping vegetables creatively for the salad or uniformly for the vegetable.
3. Incorporate ‘fun foods’
Kids are drawn to foods that have different shapes and bright colours. There are so many fruits for eg. Kiwi fruit, star fruit etc. and vegetables for eg. colored capsicums, broccoli,etc. that fall into this category. You can be creative with chopping and serving them up so that the kids enjoy eating them as much. Make smileys on their plates, make small bite sized finger foods, coat their vegetables in delicious sauces, in short, anything to make the food look creative and yummy!
4. Make desserts healthy
You can let kids have desserts and make them healthy too. Instead of depending on store brought cookies and candy which are so low on nutrients, try dipping fresh strawberries in chocolate sauce, or make a fruit smoothie, or a berry cobbler. These choices may have some sugar, but looking at the amount of nutrients you will be serving, a minor amount of sugar should be acceptable. Remember- everything is healthy when eaten in moderation.
5. When your child wants chocolate and junk food
Make chocolate and junk foods like pizzas, burgers, and French fries once in a while treats. You could treat the child to these foods once in a couple of months or so, if he/she eats wholesome food on all other days. That way the child will not only look forward to the treat but also eat well on other days.
Kids emulate us, so eat what you want your child to eat, and engage in physical activity if you want your child to be active physically. Encouraging physical activity and healthy food choices during childhood will help build these habits for a lifetime.
My name is Shubhangi Srikanth and I write under the pen name Titli. I started my blog “The Little Princess” and it helped me channel my thoughts in the proper direction. After having worked for more than 12 years in the Pharmaceutical and Banking sector, I now freelance as a content writer for medical and health websites. I have two adorable boys, who have taught me more about life than I could teach them. Being a mother is one of the most fulfilling roles of my life, one that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world!