How to Make Nutritious Food Exciting for Kids
“You do not like them so you say. Try them! Try them and you may.” – Sam-I-Am
Picky kids always remind me of the book Green eggs and Ham by Dr. Sues. Sam-I-Am clearly represents parents who are trying hard to convince their children to try something new. For most kids, a big “No” will always be the answer when you ask them to try new food. That’s why mums and dads should always be creative when it comes to making food for kids. Serving the same old thing every day just wouldn’t cut it.
So, what creative ways are we talking about here? Read and learn!
- Make it look awesome! Almost all chefs would say that cooking tasty food is not enough, presentation is also imperative. Parents should try to make sure the food looks ‘tempting’ so the kids won’t have a choice but to try them. In short, the food should taste good AND look good. Adding some colour or using cute and colourful plates or utensils are just some of the tricks. If you want your kids to eat peas, why not add some sweet corn or chopped baby carrots? Colourful and healthy!
- Let them choose! Forcing your kids to eat what you like is a bit challenging. It is better to know what they like and work from there. If your kids love pancakes in the morning, then add some fruits to make it healthier. Try blueberry pancakes or banana pancakes! As they say, if you can’t beat them, join them!
- The cute helpers! Ask the kids to help out in the food preparation. Maybe you can even start at the beginning with grocery shopping?! List down all the ingredients you will need for the meal and let them pick the ingredients in the supermarket. Showing them the meal from ‘scratch’ can make them curious about the process.
- Take a break! Sometimes, whatever you do, they won’t budge. When that happens everyone should take a breather! Let them eat what they want for that mealtime, but tell them they will have to eat whatever you serve in the next meal. Yes, compromise! No fights or tantrums and, best of all, no headaches for you!
- Try it too! Saying nice things about the food like “It’s tasty” or “It’s good” isn’t enough. Sometimes you need to show the kids you also like it. How? Eat some yourself. If you want them to eat broccoli or carrots, you need to take a bite too!
- Research! Making food exciting for your kids is sometimes nerve-wrecking. Be patient and take time to research. There are tons of recipe books you can read or simply surf the internet and find one. Making meal plans with your kids is a great idea too. Let them surf the internet for meals they would like to try. Make it a family thing every week! It is a time saver and a great way to bond with the kids.
- Dessert, anyone? After finishing the healthy meal, it’s time for a nice treat. Kids will never say no to ice-cream, right? Let the kids have a scoop to enjoy after the meal. Add some fruits to compliment the ice-cream. A scoop of vanilla ice-cream and a bunch of strawberries would be fantastic! Sneaky, right?
“Here or there … On a boat or with a goat … In a box or with a fox” Mums and dads, you don’t need to try all the tricks of Sam-I-Am to convince your kids to try some food. Just make them as creative as you can. Keep it simple, exciting and fun!
And, THAT is the deal of the meal!