It is easy to cook for yourself, but when you start having children, it can become a little more challenging. Children usually turn their nose up at vegetables, and can be picky eaters. Here are some easy ways for you to convince them that eating in a healthy way is not that bad!
1. As soon as you start talking about food to your children, talk about the advantages of good nutrition. Talk about how certain foods are good for them, and how certain foods aren’t so good for them. Ask them to draw pictures of nutritious foods, so that they understand and get a good idea of what good food is. You might also want to take them apple picking or start growing a garden in your yard so they can see good food growing.
2. Disguise vegetables so kids will eat them. Sometimes, despite your best efforts your kids won’t like vegetables. Vegetables are still great for your kids, and if you take the time to get creative you can still include them in your child’s diet by disguising them. Try making a spinach smoothie–it’s green, so that will excite your children. By adding blueberries, a banana, ice and a dash of orange juice, there is no vegetable taste whatsoever. Try making a low sugar carrot cake for a child who won’t eat carrots. There is a way to make any vegetable interesting to kids.
3. Make your meal times family time. Studies have shown how beneficial it is for kids to eat at the kitchen table with their family, so take the time to make meals a time for family to be together. Talk to your kids about their day, talk about the food you are eating and why it is good for you, and talk about their goals and dreams. You will find that a happy kitchen is one that kids will return to time and time again.
4. Let the kids help you cook. Small children especially are eager to help you in the kitchen, so let them. Allow them to do small jobs like stirring and pouring. You might be nervous that they will make a mess or spill something, but the truth is that the floor can be cleaned! Use the time to teach your kids about good nutrition and how you come up with ideas for dinner. Remember, you are teaching your kids how to eat as an adult so start early.
5. Pack their lunches for school. Some schools are trying to carry out measures that create more choices for those who wish to eat in a healthy way, and some schools have already made those decisions. If your child lives in a district that still serves processed or frozen foods, make their lunch yourself if you can.
It seems tough to talk to children about good nutrition, but if you start when they are young, they will have a good foundation and know how to cook healthy for better health.