As a parent, guardian or number one auntie of a child, you want to set the children in your life on the path to a happy and healthy future life. Part of that involves teaching them about the importance of healthy eating. Basically, you want to make them see that healthy foods can be just as tasty and fun as the treat foods they see in commercials. Here are some tips to help.
Make healthy food look good
You see food before you eat it. The better food looks, the more likely you are to decide that you want to eat it. That’s precisely why restaurants make such a big point over presentation. You don’t have to turn your family meals into works of culinary art. You can, however, use fun presentation to tempt picky eaters.
Colour is often your best friend here. Children love it so use it as much as you can. For example, instead of just putting vegetables on their plate, get out a good 7 layer salad recipe. Serve the salad in individual, clear dishes, and make sure that there’s clear space on the top. Then your children can literally dig in and have fun mixing up the colors while they eat.
Get them to make their own treats
Banning junk food totally could lead to arguments you’d rather not have. It could also lead to your children just sneaking their own treats without your knowledge. Besides, there is a place for treat food. It’s just a small one.
It’s often both more practical, and more fun, to split the difference. Allow children a certain amount of treat foods but stick to homemade options. First, this gives you total control over the ingredients. You don’t have to worry about all the artificial colorings, flavorings, and preservatives in store-bought preservative filled food.
Second, it gives you an opportunity to educate your children about food while they’re having fun. In particular, you can explain why it’s important that they are careful with certain food types like fats and sugars.
Turn them into gardeners
Even if you only have a tiny indoor space, you can still grow some food plants. For example, sprouts, many herbs, and some edible flowers will all grow happily in small containers. If you have a bit more space then you could look for compact versions of everyday food plants. Many of these will grow indoors or outdoors.
Putting children in charge of growing food plants (under adult supervision) can really help to engage them with food and healthy eating. It can also open up options for lessons on all kinds of science-related topics. For example, you could look at how common food plants also have uses in medicine.
Take them around the world
Doing this literally might be a bit of a stretch. There are plenty of resources for teaching your children about the way people eat in different parts of the world. You can buy books, or get them from your library, or just search the internet.
Once you’ve got your children interested in a particular culture and food, get them to try out some healthy recipes from it. This will help to reinforce the idea that healthy food can be interesting and fun as well as good for you. Right now my particular food trip is in the country of Korea, ever since the pandemic, I have researched and made different Korean recipes while I watched numerous and I do mean numerous Korean dramas. That has also satisfied my want for travel when I can’t. So it has defintely served multiple purposes.
Do you have tips on getting young ones to eat more healthy choices? If so, please share them in the comments below.
Until or next rendezvous …