Children want to have fun and have every right in the world to do so. However when it comes to eating, many children see it as a necessary evil stopping them from exploring the world. Parents that do achieve to create a fun association with meal time, actually have better chances at driving their agenda of healthy and balanced foods. Success is not always guaranteed, but there are several pre-conditions that are likely to have a positive impact on your child’s attitude towards eating.
- As recommended on several occasions, you should try and eat as a family as often as possible. It’s a good occasion for family chat and make for a pleasant atmosphere.
- Get your child involved in the food preparation. Conscede some voting rights when it comes to the shopping decisions in the supermarket, making sure not too many colourful packs of unhealthy foods make it into the shopping cart. For your little one this will be a great lesson in learning the makings of a family meal, while feeling appreciated and taken seriously. Cooking with kids can also be great fun!
- Healthy need not be boring! Grab some healthy ingredients and get creative. Simple cake forms or moulds used for backing can have a surprising effect. A healthy sandwich is a lot more tempting when it shows up as a little star or even a teddy bear. When you’ve cooked colourful vegetables they can nicely be arranged as a fantastic landscape. Fruit or vegetable skewers are all time favourites. Bear in mind though that food should be fun, but not played with.
- Keep innovating. This way you will prevent your little ones (and yourself) from getting bored. At the same time your child will continuously discover new flavours and hopefully learn to love them. See here some recipes for inspiration.
When children have fun eating they will reap the benefits well into their adolescence and adulthood. So lets make it fun!