If your child is always trying to slip a stalk of broccoli to the dog or hide their peas in a napkin, there is hope. Although it can be frustrating when kids resist healthy foods, there are clever ways to make mealtime fun instead of a battle. Don’t give up! It is possible to win over even the most finicky child!
A little camoflauge can go a long way! If your kids love spaghetti, puree a combination of vegetables and add it to your sauce. Only you will know their favorite meal is chock full of healthful vitamins! For a sweeter treat, try zucchini or carrot muffins which feel like dessert but have vegetable goodness hidden inside. Baking or air frying veggie fries made from carrots or green beans is a crunchy, colorful treat and kids may not even realize they are eating their vegetables!
Make it Fun!
Kids like to play with their food - so let them! Eating with their hands and dipping foods in their favorite sauces makes everything taste better. Lettuce wraps or zucchini wrapped “sushi’ rolls filled with cut up vegetables are handheld and portable, which makes them especially kid friendly. And, they can dip them too! For a refreshing dessert or snack, nothing beats a homemade juice pop. Choose a variety of cold pressed juices and blend with fresh fruit for a freezer full of colorful fun.
Who’s the Boss?
Let the kids take charge! If they run the show, they are more likely to try their own creations. Look through cookbooks or pictures of food on Pinterest with your kids and let them pick the menu. Teach them to combine proteins, vegetables and complex carbohydrates to make a complete meal. Plan ahead for the week by starting the day off right with overnight oats and fruit layered in jars. Kids can choose their favorite options from a preselected assortment of ingredients and breakfast is ready to go with no fuss. For a quick and convenient grab and go lunch, their favorite salad creations can be layered in jars too!
Let it grow!
Planting a home grown vegetable garden or a windowsill herb garden is a great way to teach your kids that food doesn't just magically appear in the supermarket. Let your little ones take over planting, watering and tending to their ‘crops’ so they can proudly watch them grow. By incorporating their harvest into your meals, the whole family can enjoy the fruits of their labor and learn how fresh and delicious home grown food can be!
Make it fun to help your kids get on the path to a healthy relationship with food. And, keep them engaged, to lay the foundation for a lifetime of good eating habits.